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California | SOUTHLAND FOCUS

WellPoint Unit to Stop Medicare Processing

May 04, 2000|Bloomberg News

WellPoint Health Networks Inc., one of California's biggest health insurers, said its Blue Cross of California unit will stop processing Medicare claims as of December. Blue Cross & Blue Shield United of Wisconsin said it won the contract from the U.S. government to take over after Blue Cross of California stops and will hire the 400 workers currently employed to administer the claims. Blue Cross of California processes Medicare hospital claims in California, Nevada and Hawaii, and home-health and hospice claims in California, Nevada, Hawaii, Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Washington and Alaska. Blue Cross of California will continue to offer supplementary Medicare insurance after exiting the claims processing business, the company said. Thousand Oaks-based WellPoint had revenue of $7.5 billion last year. Shares fell $3.25 to close at $68.63 on the New York Stock Exchange. The announcement was made after the close of regular U.S. trading.

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