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Our History

Nearly five decades of service to our members and communities 

Medica, then and now 

Our story has a modest start. In 1975, a team of Minneapolis doctors started a nonprofit health maintenance organization with a handful of members and a vision to serve the community. Their venture was called Physicians Health Plan, and it grew steadily over the next 16 years, driven by a singular focus on member needs.

In 1991, we merged with another insurer and adopted a new name: Medica.

Today, we provide health care coverage in communities across the country. We do it by partnering with local health care systems to ensure members get quality care and a first-rate experience from providers they know and trust, all at an affordable price. And our charitable foundation works to improve health and well-being in our members' communities by providing millions of dollars in grants to local nonprofit organizations.

In 2021, we formed a joint venture with SSM Health, and through that invested in Dean Health Plan, including the Prevea360 and WellFirst Health brands. Medica and Dean Health Plan have significant similarities in our histories, operations, cultures, and deep community commitment. Our relationship is driven by technology, a shared mission-driven vision, and innovation. Together we have an even greater opportunity to support the health care needs of members and patients, and to further enhance our provider relationships.

We look a lot different today than in 1975. We serve 1.5 million people. We partner with dozens of health care systems. We do business in 12 states.

But our relationship with our members? It's still one to one.


The past 20 years 

  • 2021: We add Arizona and Wyoming to our service area and open Medica Midway. We form a joint venture with SSM Health, and through that invest in Dean Health Plan.
  • 2020: The Medica Foundation makes $4.25 million in grants to community nonprofits with a focus on crisis relief, pandemic response, social justice, food security and health equity.
  • 2019: We lead our industry by setting a $25 cap on out-of-pocket costs for insulin.
  • 2018: We offer coverage to Missouri and Oklahoma residents. The Medica Foundation kicks off community engagement and grant-making activities in Nebraska.
  • 2017: We add Kansas to our service area and open a regional office in Omaha, Neb.
  • 2015: In our 40th year, we expand into Iowa and Nebraska.
  • 2012: We launch our first partnerships with premier Minnesota health systems M Health Fairview, Park Nicollet, and Mayo Clinic.
  • 2003: We expand into the Dakotas. The Medica Foundation makes its first grants.
medica history

Early highlights 

  • 1998: Our service area grows to include counties in western Wisconsin. We become the first Minnesota-based health plan to cover smoking-cessation treatments.
  • 1991: Physicians Health Plan merges with Share Health Plan, a Minneapolis HMO, to form Medica. The combined organization serves 537,000 members.
  • 1975: The Hennepin County Medical Society launches nonprofit Physicians Health Plan, Minnesota's first open-access model health maintenance organization (HMO).
    It finishes the year with 53 members.


From our home base in the Twin Cities to our network of regional offices, we're your neighbor.


Be a part of our continuing story and join our team. You can help us write the next chapter.


We work to protect your health care dollar by taking steps to prevent and investigate fraud, waste, and abuse.