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BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and WellPoint Affiliate to Launch Medicaid Plan in South Carolina

August 15, 2007

Columbia, S.C. – BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and WellPoint Inc. (NYSE: WLP) announced today an agreement to introduce a new Medicaid managed care plan in South Carolina.

Plan benefits will be offered through BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina Inc., a subsidiary of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, and administered by a WellPoint affiliate in South Carolina. The new plan will offer South Carolina’s Medicaid-eligible population an extensive network of health care providers, a unique local community presence and nationally recognized Medicaid managed care expertise.

"BlueChoice HealthPlan has been well known in South Carolina for over two decades. We anticipate being able to build a sizeable network for our Medicaid clientele," said BlueChoice HealthPlan President Mary Mazzola Spivey. "By teaming with a WellPoint company, we gain immediate access to valuable Medicaid administrative expertise. This venture brings together our knowledge of South Carolina’s needs and Wellpoint’s Medicaid experience." BlueCross BlueShield, one of the largest companies in South Carolina, has been serving the citizens of South Carolina for more than 60 years and is active in communities statewide through its foundation and a corporate charitable contributions program. BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and BlueChoice HealthPlan have an A+ financial rating from A.M. Best.

Under the agreement, plan members and providers will have access to WellPoint’s unique Community Resource Center (CRC) model. This model is designed to help support members with outreach to promote health, and to help them more easily navigate the health care system. It also provides local liaisons to work with physicians to better serve this population. CRCs are staffed with professionals who live and work in the community they serve, so members benefit from the unmatched local awareness of community issues and available services.

"Serving Medicaid beneficiaries requires highly personalized service and outreach to members, physicians, hospitals and community-based organizations," said John Monahan, WellPoint president of State Sponsored Business. "We want members to use our CRC as a place where they can access information about a variety of health management programs for conditions such as asthma or diabetes, or if they need assistance finding a primary care physician to help establish their ‘medical home.’ We are pleased to team with BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina to bring our experience and our successful local Community Resource Center model to help beneficiaries in the state access needed health care," added Monahan.

The S.C. Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) introduced managed care to the Medicaid population in 1996 and has carefully expanded the program since then. This year, an Enrollment Counseling Service is being introduced in four phases, with approximately 550,000 beneficiaries who are eligible to enroll with private companies offering Medicaid managed care plans. With the assistance of a counselor, the beneficiary will select a primary care doctor in the managed care network. The primary care doctor will provide or arrange for the beneficiary’s medical care.

About BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina: BlueChoice HealthPlan is the oldest and largest managed care company in South Carolina. BlueChoice HealthPlan has earned the highest possible designation from the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) for five consecutive reviews starting in 1994. This includes measurements of member satisfaction. Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, and both are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans.

About WellPoint, Inc.: 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, 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 www.wellpoint.com.

 

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