President/CEO: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky President Kennan Wethington
Year founded: 1938
No. of employees: 1,500
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Tell us about Anthem’s roots to Louisville. How did Anthem today come into existence?
Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky was established in 1938 in the wake of the Great Depression. With an unemployment rate close to 20 percent, many were faced with choosing between health care and other necessities like food and housing. Similarly, hospitals were having difficulty collecting payment from their patients. Blue Cross and Blue Shield was created to help people “prepay” for high cost hospital and doctor care, respectively. The model revolutionized healthcare across the United States, vastly improving healthcare affordability and access.
In 1993, Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana to form the company that later became Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Soon, other “Blue” plans joined the Anthem family as did other, non-Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans Today, Anthem-affiliated health plans serve one in eight Americans through employer-based, individual, Medicaid and Medicare plans in 28 states across the country.
What is one thing you wish others knew about your company?
How deeply ingrained Anthem and our associates are in the Kentucky communities we serve. Anthem’s 1,500 Kentucky-based associates work and live in all parts of Kentucky and many serve on community boards including the Louisville Healthcare CEO Council, Shriner’s Hospital Corporate Council, Seven Counties Services, the Healing Place, the Morton Center, the Louisville YMCA, and dozens of others. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the largest commercial health insurer in the state, serving nearly 2 million Kentuckians across its spectrum of health plan offerings.
What makes your company different from competitors?
Our commitment to building healthier lives and communities in Kentucky. Having served the Commonwealth for more than 80 years, Anthem’s bluegrass roots run deep. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Kentucky is a unique combination of local management and national scope. Anthem is uniquely positioned to serve all Kentuckians through a full spectrum of health plans including employer-sponsored, individual and Medicare health plans as well as dental, life, disability and worker’s compensation plans.
Have you had to pivot strategies over the years?
No, because our purpose has always been to provide Kentuckians with affordable access to quality healthcare. However, Anthem has evolved and expanded over the years as the state’s needs changed. When Medicare was created, Anthem was there. When the Commonwealth introduced high risk insurance plans, Anthem was there. When the Affordable Care Act went into effect, creating health insurance Exchanges and expanding Medicaid, Anthem was there. Anthem always has and always will stand with the people, employers and communities of Kentucky.