|WellPoint and Affiliates Kick Off 2004 Employee Giving Campaign; Goal is to Raise $6 Million to Benefit Local Organizations|
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 4, 2004--WellPoint Health Networks, Inc. (NYSE:WLP), the nation's second-largest health insurer, in conjunction with its affiliate companies and the WellPoint Foundation, has announced its goal of raising more than $6 million for charitable organizations in the hundreds of communities where its employees live and work.
WellPoint's 2004 Associate Giving Campaign, which begins this week, will build on last year's record levels of participation and funds raised by inviting local charities to participate in the Agency Fairs being held this month at the largest WellPoint work sites around the country. There, employees will have a better opportunity to identify, interact with and support those organizations that provide vital services to their communities.
Last year, associates donated more than $3.6 million to 3,860 different charities around the country. A 50 percent match by the WellPoint Foundation added another $1.8 million to create a total of $5.4 million in charitable donations to help communities all across America.
"Commitment to community is a core value at WellPoint," said Leonard D. Schaeffer, WellPoint's chairman and chief executive officer. "Enhancing the well being of individuals and families in the communities we serve is at the heart of our business. This value is best exemplified by the continued increase in participation in WellPoint's annual Associate Giving Campaign. We are very proud of the compassion and generosity of WellPoint's associates."
With support by the WellPoint Foundation, the associate contributions will go even further. The Foundation will cover all of the administrative costs of the campaign, which means 100 percent of associate contributions will go directly to the organizations they choose to support. In addition, the Foundation will match 50 cents for every dollar contributed.
Associates' locations from coast to coast are kicking off their campaigns with a range of activities. Local charities will visit and set up information booths about their services, lunchrooms will post "Giving Trees" to track employee contributions, and for associates who contribute, opportunity drawings will be held for gift baskets, movie passes and paid time off.
Over the past decade, WellPoint has helped create and fund charitable foundations with assets close to $6 billion. As part of the Company's recapitalization in 1996, charitable foundations in California were created with assets that today are worth more than $4 billion. In addition, WellPoint assisted with the $114 million funding of a charitable foundation in Georgia when the Company acquired Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia in March of 2001 and with the $900 million funding of The Missouri Foundation for Health through the merger with RightCHOICE in early 2002. As a result of WellPoint's merger with Cobalt Corporation, the Wisconsin United for Health Foundation's assets increased their value by approximately $500 million.
About WellPoint Health Networks, Inc.
WellPoint Health Networks, Inc. serves the health care needs of more than 15.6 million medical members and 46.8 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 http://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.
About The WellPoint Foundation
The WellPoint Foundation focuses on initiatives that will make health care more accessible and affordable, improve quality of care, support the development of health-related public policy, and help establish best practices in medicine. The WellPoint Foundation, which was established in 2001, is one of the largest corporate foundations in the nation with assets exceeding $135 million. The Foundation focuses on developing social investment programs and partnering with nonprofit public charities whose projects and programs closely align with WellPoint's health care priorities.
CONTACT: WellPoint Health Networks, Inc. Michael Chee, (805) 557-6791 or WellPoint Foundation Cal Lockett, (805) 557-6888 SOURCE: WellPoint Health Networks, Inc.