Location is important not just in real estate, but in insurance as well.

Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Ohio, one of the state’s oldest and largest health insurers, has called Deerfield Township near Mason home for nearly 20 years.

“You’ve heard it many times, ‘Location, location, location,’ and it’s true for Anthem in Greater Cincinnati, including Mason—considered by all who work there as our headquarters,” says Erin Hoeflinger, president for Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Ohio.

The company, a unit of Indianapolis-based Wellpoint Inc., employs more than 1,200 in two buildings in Deerfield Township. It also provides health insurance to 3.3 million Ohioans and employs another 1,500 in the area working from their homes.

Anthem associates in Deerfield Township handle a variety of functions including information technology, customer services, claims, business support, policy underwriting, data analytics, provider relations, sales, marketing and public relations.

Hoeflinger, who has headed Anthem’s Ohio insurance operation since 2008, says the central location and the ability to create a facility to suit the company’s needs were key to its decision in selecting Deerfield Township in 1995.

Anthem, which also employs a number of associates on William Howard Taft Road in Cincinnati, moved its main administrative operations to Deerfield Township in 1997 after it outgrew its Blue Ash office.

“The community has embraced our presence,” says Hoeflinger.

This year Anthem is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Anthem started as the Hospital Care Corporation in 1939 and became Community Mutual Insurance Company (CMIC) in 1984, one of three Blue Cross Blue Shield plans then in Ohio. Today, Anthem is Ohio’s only Blue Cross & Blue Shield plan.

CMIC merged with Anthem in Indiana and Kentucky to become Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield in 1995 and became a public company in 2001.

Anthem Inc. and WellPoint Inc. merged in 2004 to become WellPoint. There are 14 Blue Cross & Blue Shield plans under WellPoint, in 14 states, including Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

Across Ohio, Anthem has 11 other offices including Miamisburg, Columbus, Cleveland, Canton, Toledo and Youngstown, employing nearly 5,000.

Besides providing health benefits to individuals, including seniors, and employers, Anthem offers integrated health and wellness programs, which provide members with important health reminders, a wealth of online tools, a 24-hour NurseLine staffed by actual nurses, support for managing chronic illnesses and more to keep employees healthy and productive.

Anthem’s community relations’ efforts are statewide, with a volunteer program called “Dollars for Doers,” where employees are encouraged to volunteer at various nonprofits, and “Associate Giving” where employees donate to local nonprofits such as United Way or their church.

In Mason specifically, last year Anthem provided, through the American Heart Association, “Hands Only CPR” training to local companies who have benefits through Anthem, such as Mason-neighbor Cintas Corp., and Anthem employees.