Humana is one of the nation's largest publicly traded health benefits companies, with approximately 11 million medical members and 7.17 million specialty members. Humana offers coordinated health insurance coverage and related services - through traditional and Internet-based plans - to employer groups, government-sponsored plans and individuals.
Humana customers have access to hundreds of thousands of doctors across the nation.
The company is a major provider of health benefits to U.S. military dependents and retirees. The company is the nation's second largest provider of Medicare benefits.
The company's specialty products - dental, life and disability insurance - complement its core health offerings. Humana provides health benefits and related services to companies ranging from fewer than 10 to tens of thousands of employees.
Humana had revenues of $33.87 billion in 2010, up 9%, and net income of $1.09 billion.
In 1961, two young Kentucky lawyers -- David Jones and Wendell Cherry -- formed a partnership and started a new nursing home called Heritage House in Louisville, KY.. They saw an opportunity in the nursing home industry but their vision for the business was a bit different. Respect for patients and personalized attention would be the cornerstones of their new facility.
By 1968, their company, called Extendicare, included seven nursing homes. An initial public offering that year generated money for further expansion.
That same year, the partners took another bold step and acquired their first hospital, Medical Center Hospital in Huntsville, Alabama, which was still under construction. By the time the Huntsville facility opened in 1970, Extendicare owned nine other hospitals. In 1972, it had divested itself of all nursing homes in order to concentrate on its growing hospital business.
Reflecting its new direction, Extendicare became Humana Inc. in January 1974. According to the company's annual report that year, the new name was selected "to project more truly the philosophy of the company, to stand out distinctively and to provide an identity with non-limiting connotations."
Through rapid growth and strategic acquisitions, Humana became the world's largest hospital company by the early 1980s, owning more than 80 hospitals in the United States and abroad. The company pioneered the measurement of hospital quality and productivity to achieve consistent care for every patient. Among the company's innovations was the new emergency room design, which ensured that critical care patients would see a health care professional-not an admitting clerk-on arrival.
Throughout the late 1980s, Humana's vertical integration approach helped the company keep hospital admissions up and insurance costs down. As both the hospital and insurance industries continued to evolve, Humana saw the need to separate its hospital and insurance divisions. So, in 1993, Humana spun off its hospital operations into a new company called Galen Health Care Inc. Soon after, Galen merged with Columbia/HCA.
- Medical Benefits
Updated October 31, 2011