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VENTURA COUNTY BUSINESS | VENTURA COUNTY EARNINGS

WellPoint Reports Increase in Net Income

May 09, 2000

WellPoint Health Networks in Thousand Oaks reported net income for the first quarter ended March 31 of $79.6 million, or $1.23 per diluted share.

Comparable net income for the first quarter of 1999, excluding the cumulative effect of a one-time, $20.6-million after-tax accounting charge, was $71.1 million, or $1.04 per share.

Membership in WellPoint's medical plans came to 7.5 million at the end of the first quarter, compared with 6.9 million at the end of the first quarter last year. Officials said the increase in membership was the result of continued strong growth in California, growth in the company's individual and small group business outside California, and the acquisition of Chicago-based Rush Prudential Health Plans, which was completed March 1.

In California, medical membership increased by 501,000, or 10.5%, for the year ended March 31, bringing membership there to 5.3 million members.

Excluding the impact of acquisitions, WellPoint's individual and small group businesses in Texas, Georgia and Illinois grew by 64,000 members, or 38%, during the same period.

WellPoint Health Networks Inc. offers insurance through Blue Cross of California in California and UNICARE throughout other parts of the country.

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