November 9, 2004


Statement Regarding Department of Insurance Approval of Anthem-Wellpoint Merger

(Sacramento, CA) -- Below is a statement by Cindy Ehnes, Director of the Department of Managed Health Care regarding the Department of Insurance approval of the Anthem-WellPoint merger:

“When I approved the Anthem-WellPoint transaction more than three months ago, I insisted on the strongest possible consumer protections under my authority for California’s Blue Cross enrollees and secure, sound investments in California’s health care system. Our requirements contain important prohibitions against taking premiums paid by Californians out of the state and increasing executive compensation packages, unlike the deal Commissioner Garamendi has just announced.

“Blue Cross did not consult with us prior to their agreement with the DOI. We will now review its provisions to ensure that each and every California ratepayer receives the same protections. The agreement with Commissioner Garamendi will be inspected by this Department to guarantee that it does not cause any change to the financial ability of Blue Cross to deliver the basic health care services required by law.”