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WellPoint And California Regulators Launch $35 Million Community Clinics Grant Program


10/19/2005 5:12:51 PM

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif., Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- WellPoint, Inc. joined California Department of Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi today in announcing the launch of a $35 million Community Clinics Grant Program. The program and its funding are a direct result of the merger between Anthem, Inc. and WellPoint Health Networks Inc. completed last year. Its purpose is to provide funding for projects in community clinics that demonstrate an ability to expand and improve access to health care for the indigent, uninsured and underinsured who reside in California.

"We are pleased to join Insurance Commissioner Garamendi in announcing the launch of this program," said David Helwig, president and CEO of the West Region for WellPoint, Inc. "This $35 million investment in community clinics is one of several initiatives WellPoint is undertaking in order to address California's health care needs."

"I would also like to commend the Department of Managed Health Care and its Director Cindy Ehnes for joining with us to create these worthy projects. We continue to create real solutions to the needs of the uninsured and underinsured populations in California."

Under the agreements with Commissioner Garamendi and Director Ehnes, the California Health Facilities Financing Authority (CHFFA) will administer WellPoint's $35 million contribution to the program. The CHFFA previously developed a model process in administering a similar program funded under the Cedillo-Alarcon Community Clinics Investment Act of 2000 and currently has the infrastructure to administer the program efficiently and effectively.

About WellPoint, Inc.

WellPoint, Inc. is the largest publicly traded commercial health benefits company in terms of membership in the United States. WellPoint, Inc. 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, Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through HealthLink and UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at http://www.wellpoint.com/ .

WellPoint, Inc.

CONTACT: James Kappel of WellPoint, Inc., +1-805-557-6789


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