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LAST UPDATED: April 23rd, 2024

Wellmark BlueCross BlueShield was founded in 1939. It’s the BlueCross BlueShield subsidiary catered specifically to Iowa and South Dakota.

Wellmark offers health plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace. It also offers Medigap, dental, vision, hearing, prescription drug, and travel health insurance. Employers can also purchase group health plans from Wellmark.


The Good

  • Plan Types Offered
  • Member Resources
  • BlueCross BlueShield Affiliation
  • Health Support Programs
  • Helpful Mobile App
  • Customer Service

Plan Types Offered

Wellmark health insurance plans are relatively easy to shop for. If you're purchasing from the Health Insurance Marketplace, you may find some Wellmark plans listed.

It's also easy to view premium quotes and compare plans on Wellmark's website. Wellmark's health plans cover preventive services.

If you're an employer interested in offering a health plan to employees, you can find plans from Wellmark.

The health insurance company also offers Medicare supplement insurance (Medigap), Medicare Part D (prescription drug coverage), and travel medical insurance.

Seniors can also purchase dental insurance and combined vision and hearing benefits from Wellmark. Vision plans are operated by Avesis, which is an independent company.

Member Resources

As far as account management goes, members benefit from plenty of resources that help them track their spending and coverage.

Wellmark provides easily accessible forms to download, explanations of benefits, ID card tools, and tools to find a primary care physician, specialists, other health care professionals, and hospitals in the network. This feature makes finding health care providers easy.

You can also track claims through the company's mobile app and view a comparative list of drug costs to make sure you're getting the right price for prescriptions.

Wellmark has a few extra perks as well, including the option to go paperless. Because it is under BlueCross BlueShield, the company offers the BlueCard program, which gives members coverage throughout the United States. 

BlueCross BlueShield Affiliation

One major aspect that makes Wellmark unique is that it comes with BlueCross BlueShield benefits but stands separately as a network just for Iowa and South Dakota.

If you live in one of these states, it's a major advantage that there's a company devoted to your local region but that still offers all the benefits of a worldwide company.

Health Support Programs

Health support is in full supply as well. BeWell 24/7SM is Wellmark's resource that members can call for medical concerns that come up. It's essentially a personal health assistant (not to be confused with a health coach) who can help you find the right doctor and set up an appointment, check symptoms, and even estimate the cost of the treatment or medical care you're considering.

Wellmark, like other BlueCross BlueShield companies, has Blue365®, a rewards program for members who are striving to be healthy. Participating in this program entitles members to discounts on things like, fitness memberships and clothing, Westin hotels, and Jenny Craig.

Whether you're trying to exercise more, lose weight, improve your hearing, or set another health goal, Wellmark offers support.

It's common for insurers to reward healthly habits, so Wellmark's participation in Blue365® makes it competitive with other carriers.

Helpful Mobile App

The mobile app for Wellmark allows members to manage their online accounts, view and email their ID cards, find providers, check claim statuses, and even call a nurse 24/7.

It's a great quality for this company to keep up on innovative technology to meet members' needs, especially when so many customers are more mobile nowadays.

Customer Service

Wellmark serves lots of people in its two states. With so many customers to please, the company has made integrity one of its primary focuses.

Customers can contact Wellmark through phone numbers. There's not a live chat feature here, which is a weakness. Its customer service is not 24/7. You can access your account online and through the mobile app at any time, but if you want to speak with a live person you can only do so during business hours.

To its credit, Wellmark has also made quality and transparency two values the company emphasizes. To help with this, members can access to patient reviews of various health care providers.

Wellmark also has a physician quality measurement program. Mostly, these are efforts to help you decide what provider is best for you and what kind of care you really need.

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The Bad

  • Minimal Customer Insight
  • Limited Region
  • No 24/7 Phone Line

Minimal Customer Insight

Wellmark reviews are limited on BestCompany.com. This lack of reviews makes it difficult to make a recommendation based on the customer experience. However, Wellmark is associated with BlueCross BlueShield, which has received high ratings on Best Company.

Limited Region

These health plans are only available in Iowa and South Dakota, not to anyone else in the US.

BlueCross BlueShield, of course, is a nationwide company, but Wellmark is essentially BlueCross BlueShield's local option for these two states. Along with this, dental coverage is not even available in South Dakota plans.

If Wellmark isn't available in your area, you'll need to find another insurance provider.

Luckily, BlueCross BlueShield has many subsidiaries, so you may be able to get BlueCross BlueShield coverage even if you can't work with Wellmark.

No 24/7 Phone Line

You can access 24/7 help through BeWell, and you can look up your benefits anytime through a phone recording or online, but Wellmark doesn't have 24/7 customer service with a live person. You can only call to speak with someone during business hours.


The Bottom Line

Shopping for health insurance coverage can be confusing, and even once you find a health insurance plan, account management can become a hassle.

Wellmark's member resources are helpful, and Wellmark has benefits for healthy living and getting assistance for the various medical concerns that pop up. Between this and the many years of experience, Wellmark has become a great option for customers in Iowa and South Dakota.

If you live in this area, then this insurance company is worth considering. However, if you live outside of these states or if you need Medicaid, you'll need to find another health insurance carrier.

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Katie Thompson

Diabetic here using an insulin pump. I frequently change out pump supplies more frequently than "normal" because of my insulin doses. They have refused on multiple occasions to increase how many supplies I am getting. Constant disruption of insulin delivery.

2 months ago

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Robert Ambrose Essex, MD

Worst Health insurancce I've had in my 40 years in the workforce. We've been fighting for a year to get my wife's insulin oen approved. Even after multiple exception requests sent by our doctor. Even after my wife had serious health issue from trying one of their "alternate" pens which could have killed her. They force us to get meds at the CVS in our local Target. The co-pay on my wife's blood test strips is higher than the price for the same exact thing on Amazon.com. When she mentioned that to the rep on the phone the reps answer was "well buy them on Amazon. Horrible customer service. They are not in business to help people. They are in the business of sacrificing health for a buck. DO NOT USE this provider if you can help it.

1 year ago

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Kerry Bell Tulsa, OK

You should not have to wait on the phone for 45 minutes to talk to someone EVERY single time you call.

1 year ago