Press Release

WellPoint Announces Release of State Health Index, the Industry's First Program Designed to Track and Improve the Health of Millions of Americans

Through Unique Collaboration with Local and State Officials, WellPoint will Design Programs to Improve Public Health Based on State Health Index Rankings

INDIANAPOLIS, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WellPoint, Inc., (NYSE: WLP) the nation's largest health benefits company, today launched the State Health Index, a program that incorporates public health data from the 14 states in which the company's Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield licensees operate to identify major state health issues. WellPoint's state plans will then work with community and state leaders to design programs that will help address those health issues and, in turn, improve the health of millions.

The states where WellPoint operates Blue plans include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

"Given that one in nine Americans is covered by a WellPoint health benefits plan, our company has a mission and a unique responsibility to understand and help improve not only the health of our members, but also the overall health of the communities we serve," said Angela F. Braly, president and CEO of WellPoint. "The State Health Index will provide WellPoint and our public and private partners with a roadmap to help improve the overall health of millions of people."

Developed from data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State Health Index will track 23 measures of public health established by the CDC. WellPoint has selected these measures of improvement for its focus during the first several years of the program as they have the most potential to be positively influenced by the actions of the company:

    Prenatal Care in First Trimester        Physical Activity Levels
    Low Birthweight Infant Rate             Cigarette Smoking Rate
    Adult Influenza Immunization Rate       Diabetes in Adult Population
    Adult Pneumococcal Immunization Rate    Heart Disease Death Rate

WellPoint and its state plan representatives are collaborating with local and state officials, as well as community organizations, health care professionals, and consumers to research the reasons behind prevalent health deficiencies in each state, and to design policy solutions and implement or enhance programs aimed at improving the overall health of all residents in each state.

"The guiding measures selected for the State Health Index provide a broad snapshot of the overall health of a state's population," said Sam Nussbaum, MD, executive vice president, clinical health policy and chief medical officer of WellPoint. "WellPoint is making significant monetary and resource contributions through the implementation or scaling of public health programs that have proven successful in other states, including smoking cessation, physical activity and adult immunization programs."

The State Health Index is a companion program to WellPoint's Member Health Index, launched earlier this year. WellPoint's Member Health Index uses data from the company's own nearly 35 million members to track the improvement of the quality of health care members receive. In comparison, the State Health Index uses data pertaining to all the residents of a state to identify the most serious heath issues facing each unique population and enables WellPoint and its state plan representatives to partner with organizations to help improve and benchmark all consumers' health through unique partnerships and programs.

"Together, WellPoint's Member and State Health Indices clearly demonstrate our company's commitment to measurably improving the quality of life for both our members and all of the people who live in the communities in which we live and serve," said Braly. "We believe these innovative initiatives set a new industry standard and will help improve the health of Americans."

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 Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as Blue Cross 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. Additional information about WellPoint is available at

SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.

CONTACT: Media, Shannon Troughton, +1-317-488-6789, Investor Relations, Michael Kleinman, +1-317-488-6713, both of WellPoint, Inc.

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