The Four-Decade Wisconsin Legacy of Network Health

For four decades, Network Health has taken a different, local approach to health insurance.


Photo courtesy of Network Health

Forty years ago, 42 doctors who worked at the Nicolet Clinic north of Milwaukee had an idea – they wanted to form a new kind of health insurance plan, one that was local, provider-owned and personalized for its members. “The physicians knew their community, and they saw that they could care for it with this new plan in a more comprehensive manner,” says Coreen Dicus-Johnson, Network Health’s president and CEO.  

The insurance group was initially called Nicolet Health Plan and started with the Nicolet Clinic. But quickly the small, localized approach proved popular, and the plan began to expand to other clients, providing insurance for businesses and moving beyond the borders of Nicolet into the Fox Valley and then further. The name was changed to Network Health Plan in May of 1996. 

“We put our members at the center of everything we do.” – Coreen Dicus-Johnson

“We’ve gone through many changes since the inception, but one of the many things that has remained the same is that we continue to be provider-owned and community-focused,” Dicus-Johnson says.  

Network Health now offers over 100 customizable health insurance plans and serves 115,000 members across 24 Wisconsin counties, with 20,000 physicians participating in its network. Currently owned by Ascension Wisconsin and Froedtert Health, Network Health offers Medicare, Medicaid, employer, individual, family and state employee plans. And Network Health is the only Medicare plan in Wisconsin with an overall 5 Star rating and a 5 Star rating for its customer service and prescription drug plans from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.   

“The first thing that I hear from our members is, ‘I love your customer service,’” Dicus-Johnson says. “What’s different about us is that our employees are living and working in the communities they serve. We know our community, so we are really able to provide that personalized care.”

Network Health

1570 Midway Pl., Menasha; 16960 W. Greenfield Ave., Brookfield



This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s January issue.

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