|WellPoint and M-Plan Enter Into Endorsement Agreement as M-Plan Announces Exit From the Commercial HMO Business in Indiana|
Endorses Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana for its Members
INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP) and M-Plan, Inc., an Indiana-based managed care organization, announced today that M-Plan will endorse Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana as the insurer of choice for its members and employer groups as it exits the commercial HMO business. WellPoint and M-Plan have entered into an agreement that ensures that current M-Plan employer groups and their members who elect to purchase an Anthem policy will have a smooth transition of benefits and coverage.
M-Plan made the strategic decision to exit the commercial HMO business based on the future investments needed to grow and expand their commercial business. They are subsequently recommending Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana to their current employer groups and their members. M-Plan remains financially secure and continues to offer Medicare products in Central Indiana. In addition, M-Plan will provide coverage for its existing accounts until the end of the employer's contract.
"The agreement we entered into with M-Plan links two organizations that have served the needs of Indiana residents for decades. We look forward to presenting M-Plan customers with comprehensive benefit options that would serve them well into the future," said Angela F. Braly, president and chief executive officer of WellPoint, Inc. "WellPoint offers a unique position of having national scale while at the same time maintaining a deep local presence in its markets. That includes providing excellent customer service, delivering innovative products to our members and maintaining strong community ties."
M-Plan currently insures 125,000 lives in its commercial HMO business. It has endorsed Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana as the insurer of choice for its members because of Anthem's leading portfolio of products, extensive care and disease management initiatives, wellness programs and 60- year track record of providing benefits in Indiana.
"M-Plan has made the difficult strategic decision to leave the commercial HMO business," said Alex Slabosky, president and chief executive officer of M-Plan, Inc. "We remain dedicated to ensuring that our customers continue to receive high-quality health care coverage and will do all that we can to ensure our customers have a smooth transition to their new health coverage. In considering our endorsement decision, we sought an insurer with a strong local presence in Indiana that could provide our customers with a variety of product offerings and exceptional customer service, and Anthem clearly meets those criteria."
"Throughout its long history in Indiana, Anthem has collaborated with health care professionals to improve patient safety and the quality of medical care members receive," said Dijuana Lewis, senior vice president and president local group business of WellPoint, Inc. "Anthem's statewide network includes thousands of physicians and specialists and every major hospital in the state. As a result, in most cases M-Plan members who switch to Anthem will not have to change doctors."
At this time, WellPoint and Clarian have several hundred job openings in the State of Indiana and will be working closely with M-Plan to ensure that their employees have all the information they need to apply for these openings and are placed within the company whenever possible.
About WellPoint, Inc.
WellPoint's mission is to improve the lives of the people it serves and the health of its communities. WellPoint, Inc. is the largest health benefits company in terms of commercial membership in the United States. Through its nationwide networks, the company delivers a number of leading health benefit solutions through a broad portfolio of integrated health care plans and related services, along with a wide range of specialty products such as life and disability insurance benefits, pharmacy benefit management, dental, vision, behavioral health benefit services, as well as long term care insurance and flexible spending accounts. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, WellPoint is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and 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 Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as Empire Blue Cross or Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.
SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.
CONTACT: Media, James Kappel, +1-317-488-6400, or Investor Relations, Michael Kleinman, +1-317-488-6713, both of WellPoint, Inc.; or Andrew Stoner of M-Plan, +1-317-571-5314