WELLPOINT: Boasts Strong First Quarter Performance
Thousand Oaks-based Wellpoint Health Networks, corporate parent of Blue Cross of California, profited in the first quarter of 1999 by increasing enrollment and "keeping its premiums in line with rising medical costs," the Los Angeles Times reports. Enrollment was up 2.8% to 6.91 million, with most of the growth occurring in California. Operating profits soared to $71.2 million ($1.04 per share) from $67.2 million (95 cents per share) a year ago, and overall revenue was up 12%, to 1.64 billion from $1.46 billion a year ago. Wellpoint's medical loss ratio was off slightly, from 80.6% in Q4 1998 to 80.9%, an increase the company attributes to one-time payments that were needed to cover 118,000 California patients insured through Medpartners Inc.'s embattled California subsidiary (5/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.