Grounded in community
In 1937, a group of Minnesotans came together to help people pay hospital bills that were hard to afford. Four men – a credit union manager whose health was failing, a cowboy turned postal worker, an idealistic cooperative manager, and a socially-conscience lawyer – set out to form a prepaid health plan. But cooperative, prepaid medicine was illegal in Minnesota at the time. So, over the next 20 years, they worked and changed the laws.
Together, they established Group Health in 1957. It was one of the first consumer-governed, prepaid health plans in the United States. While radical at the time, it helped change American health care for the better.
Our first clinic
The Como Clinic opened on Aug. 1, 1957 in St. Paul, Minn. The clinic had several rooms with frugal furnishings – examining tables, desks and chairs. A sympathetic patient bought the clinic an operating lamp. The clinic was sparse, in part, because it lacked funds. Most medical procedures took place in hospitals. Community clinics performed mostly routine exams.
Expanding our reach
In 1992, Group Health merged with MedCenters Health Plan. Together, they formed HealthPartners. Since then, we’ve combined with notable care organizations. They include Park Nicollet Health System, Regions Hospital, Lakeview Health, and Hudson Hospital & Clinic. In the 2010s, we also expanded our insurance business to new states. You’ll now find us in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, North Dakota and South Dakota.