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WellPoint Inc.
TypePublic (NYSEWLP)
FoundedAnthem Insurance and WellPoint Health Networks merger in 2004
HeadquartersIndianapolis, Indiana, USA
Key peopleAngela Braly - President & CEO
IndustryHealth Care Plans
ProductsBlue Cross Blue Shield
Revenue$56.953 billion USD (2006)
Operating income$4.116 billion USD (2005)
Net income$3,094.9 billion USD (2006)

WellPoint is a large, U.S. based health benefits company and the largest member of the BlueCross BlueShield Association

Company Description

WellPoint, Inc. is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan counties and as Blue Cross, Blue Shield or Blue Cross Blue Shield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare. In addition to Blue Cross, the company also operates under the Anthem name.


WellPoint was formed when WellPoint Health Networks Inc. and Anthem, Inc. merged on Nov. 30, 2004.

WellPoint Health Networks Inc. was organized in 1986 as the division responsible for the managed healthcare operations of Blue Cross of California (BCC). BCC was founded in 1937 as a nonprofit corporation whose purpose was to provide residents of California with quality, affordable medical coverage. For nearly 50 years it was successful in this mission. In the mid- 1980s, however, after a tumultuous period when the cost of medical care increased rapidly, the group found itself in precarious financial straits. As company CEO Leonard Schaeffer described the situation in Health Affairs, "BCC's very existence was threatened." Blue Cross ran a $55 million deficit in 1986. The sale of its Woodland Hills, California headquarters building provided temporary help, balancing out BCC's 1987 stock market and underwriting losses. In April 1988 Schaeffer announced the worst was past. The following August, however, the group reported second quarter losses of $20.5 million and was only able to stave off insolvency at the end of the year when it found a buyer for its TakeCare HMO and was able to book it at an increased value in company books.

In early 1989 BCC completed an initial restructuring implemented by Schaeffer. Within a few months, the group's staff had been cut from 6,500 to 3,825 and BCC could report a fourth quarter profit of $41.9 million. A new California law enacted in the fall of 1990 enabled BCC to be licensed as a healthcare services plan. By 1991 BCC could report a dramatic turnaround. Under Schaeffer's leadership, Blue Cross had earned $159.7 million in profits. It boasted the largest growth in enrollment and earnings of any healthcare plan in California, and of any Blue Cross or Blue Shield plan in the entire country. Nonetheless, as Schaeffer wrote in 1996, "BCC faced significant challenges: uncertainty over future government policy and regulations, limited access to capital markets, and increasing competition in a rapidly growing marketplace. BCC thus began to look for a way to compete on the same regulatory and marketing playing field with its competitors."

WellPoint was formed in 1992 to operate Blue Cross of California's managed care business. In 1993, Blue Cross of California spun off its managed care business into a separate publicly traded entity, WellPoint Health Networks Inc. In 1996, Blue Cross of California completed the conversion of all its business to for-profit status, resulting in a restructuring that designated WellPoint Health Networks Inc. as the parent organization.

Anthem, Inc. grew out of two Indianapolis-based corporations formed in 1944 and 1946 as mutual insurance companies. Those two companies were created to provide health insurance to residents of Indiana as Blue Cross of Indiana and Blue Shield of Indiana. They eventually merged to form Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana. In October 2001, Anthem demutualized and conducted an initial public offering of common stock.


It offers a spectrum of network-based managed care plans to the large and small employer, individual, Medicaid and senior markets. The Company's managed care plans include preferred provider organizations, health maintenance organizations, point- of-service plans, traditional indemnity plans and other hybrid plans, including consumer-driven health plans, hospital only and limited benefit products. In addition, the Company provides an array of managed care services to self-funded customers, including claims processing, underwriting, stop loss insurance, actuarial services, provider network access, medical cost management and other administrative services. The Company also provides an array of specialty and other products and services including pharmacy benefit management, group life and disability insurance, dental, vision, behavioral health benefits, workers compensation and long-term care insurance.

The Company manages its operations through three reportable segments:

  • Health Care
  • Specialty
  • Other

Press information

Nov. 30, 2004

Anthem, Inc. (NYSE: ATH) and WellPoint Health Networks Inc. (NYSE: WLP) announced the completion of their merger today. The companies' agreement to merge was announced October 27, 2003. Under the terms of the agreement, WellPoint Health Networks stockholders will receive $23.80 in cash and one share of Anthem common stock for each WellPoint Health Networks share. The value of the transaction as of October 27, 2003, was approximately $16.5 billion. Anthem, Inc., the corporate parent, has been renamed WellPoint, Inc., and its common stock will begin trading under the WLP symbol on December 1, 2004.

Nov. 23, 2004

WellPoint Health Networks Inc. (NYSE:WLP), the nation's second largest health insurer, today announced that members of its senior management are currently scheduled to appear at the Merrill Lynch Health Services Investor Conference on Tuesday, November 30, 2004.

Nov 9, 2004

Anthem and WellPoint Announce Merger Approval by California Department of Insurance. Anthem, Inc. (NYSE: ATH) and WellPoint Health Networks Inc. (NYSE: WLP) announced today that John Garamendi, Commissioner of the California Department of Insurance (CDI), has granted his approval for their pending merger.

June 7, 2004

WellPoint Health Networks Inc. (NYSE:WLP) and Anthem, Inc. (NYSE:ATH) today announced that members of their senior management are currently scheduled to appear at the Goldman Sachs Twenty Fifth Annual Global Healthcare Conference on Thursday, June 10, 2004.


  • Wellpoint official website - www.wellpoint.com
  • www.marketwatch.com
  • www.NYJobSource.com
  • International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 25. St. James Press, 1999
  • Anders, George, "Blue Cross of California Sells Stake in WellPoint Health for $476 Million," Wall Street Journal, January 28, 1993.
  • Connolly, Jim, "California Blue Cross Plans to Start For-Profit Sub," National Underwriter Life & Health-Financial Services Edition, September 14, 1992.

External links