Press Releases

Press Release

Back
WellPoint Completes Acquisition of Golden West Dental & Vision; Strengthens Commitment to Growth in the Dental Arena

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 30, 2003--WellPoint Health Networks Inc. (NYSE:WLP), the nation's second-largest health insurer, today announced that it has completed its acquisition of Golden West Dental & Vision in Camarillo, California. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"This acquisition speaks to our continued goals of providing superior service and choice at affordable costs," said Joan Herman, president of WellPoint's Senior, Specialty and State Sponsored Programs Division. "With this outstanding addition to our family of companies, we look forward to the prospect of future growth in the specialty market."

Herman also related that Golden West would continue to operate under the Golden West trade name, selling standalone dental and vision coverage. "We look forward to continuing Golden West's successful tradition of serving distinct marketplace needs, targeting clients who make independent purchasing decisions for their dental and vision coverage," Herman said.

Chris Kamen, formerly chief executive officer of Golden West, will continue to work closely with WellPoint's senior management. "We are pleased to join a company whose overall business strategy is so closely aligned with ours," said Kamen. "We will continue Golden West's tradition of outstanding service and consistently high member satisfaction, even as we pursue additional ways to enhance our already strong membership growth."

Golden West's total membership is more than 275,000 dental and vision members. With the acquisition of Golden West, WellPoint now serves approximately 2.9 million dental members nationally.

WellPoint Health Networks Inc. serves the health care needs of more than 13.4 million medical members and more than 49 million specialty members nationwide through Blue Cross of California, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Missouri, HealthLink and UNICARE. WellPoint offers a broad spectrum of quality network-based health products including open access PPO, POS and hybrid products, HMO and specialty products. Specialty products include pharmacy benefit management, dental, utilization management, vision, mental health, life and disability insurance, long-term care insurance, flexible spending accounts, COBRA administration, and Medicare supplements. WellPoint may be found on the web at www.wellpoint.com. Blue Cross of California, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Missouri, are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Cautionary Statement: Certain statements contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially due to, among other things, operational and other difficulties associated with integrating acquired businesses, business conditions and competition among managed care companies, rising health care costs, trends in medical loss ratios, health care reform and other regulatory issues, and the timing of receipt of regulatory, shareholder and other approvals. Additional risk factors are listed from time to time in the Company's various SEC reports, including, but not limited to, the Company's Annual Report on Form 10K for the year ended December 31, 2002.


    CONTACT: WellPoint Health Networks Inc.
             Lisa Mee-Stephenson, 805/557-6790 (office)
             818/618-7998 (cell)
             lisa.mee@wellpoint.com

    SOURCE: WellPoint Health Networks Inc.