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WellPoint Ranked #3 on BusinessWeek's ``BW50'' Ranking of Top Performing Public Companies in the S&P 500; Second Consecutive Year in Top Tier

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 26, 2004--WellPoint (NYSE:WLP), the nation's second largest health plan, was named as the third best performing company on BusinessWeek magazine's "BW50" ranking of the nation's best-performing large public corporations on the S&P 500. The list is available at www.businessweek.com and presented in a special issue of BusinessWeek.

"WellPoint's position as a top performing company on the `BW50' for two consecutive years represents a company fully committed to understanding and meeting our customers' changing needs," said WellPoint's chairman and chief executive officer, Leonard D. Schaeffer. "In addition to a choice of value-driven products, WellPoint is positioned to provide our customers and network physicians with data and information that support evidence-based medical decision making." These efforts were recently supported with a WellPoint initiative to provide nearly 19,000 doctors with wireless PDAs, personal computers and software with a retail value of $40 million to facilitate e-prescribing and electronic claims submission.

According to BusinessWeek, the "BW50" was built "to distinguish the largest companies that can go the distance with strong operating and market performances." BusinessWeek also added, "The companies on this year's list rose above their rivals, often by learning to think like their customers."

WellPoint Health Networks Inc. serves the health care needs of more than 15 million medical members and approximately 46 million specialty members nationwide through Blue Cross of California, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin, HealthLink and UNICARE. Visit WellPoint on the Web at www.wellpoint.com. Blue Cross of California, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.


    CONTACT: WellPoint Health Networks Inc.
             Ken Ferber, 805-557-6794

    SOURCE: WellPoint Health Networks Inc.
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