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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Summerlin Life and Health Insurance Company Enter Into Endorsement Agreement as Summerlin Announces Exit From the Commercial PPO Business in Nevada
Date:12/15/2008

LAS VEGAS, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Anthem) and Summerlin Life and Health Insurance Company (Summerlin), a Nevada-based life and health insurance organization, announced today that Summerlin is recommending and endorsing Anthem as the insurer of choice for its members and employer groups as it exits the Nevada commercial PPO business. Anthem and Summerlin have entered into an agreement that facilitates the smooth transition of current Summerlin employer groups to Anthem.

Summerlin and its affiliate companies have been providing high quality health insurance and managed care services in Nevada since 1992. However, recent changes in the health insurance market in Nevada have made it increasingly difficult for a small, local carrier to be competitive. As such, Summerlin has made the strategic decision to exit the Nevada commercial PPO business. They are subsequently recommending Anthem to their current employer groups and members. Summerlin continues to offer PPO products in Hawaii and will provide coverage for its existing accounts until the end of the employer's contract and in accordance with Nevada Revised Statute 689C.320.

"The agreement we entered into with Summerlin links two organizations that have served the needs of Nevada residents for decades. We look forward to presenting Summerlin customers with comprehensive benefit options that will serve them well into the future," said Mike Murphy, president, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. "Anthem offers a unique position of having national scale while at the same time maintaining a deep local presence in Nevada. That includes providing excellent customer service and broad provider networks, delivering innovative products to our members and maintaining strong community ties."

Summerlin currently insures approximately 10,500 lives in its commercial PPO business in Nevada. It has endorsed Anthem as the insurer of choice for its members because of Anthem's leading portfolio of products; its superior provider network, which includes all major hospitals, except one, in the state; access to nation-wide coverage under the Blue Card program; extensive care and disease management initiatives; wellness programs; and, a 30-year track record of providing benefits in Nevada.

"Summerlin has made the difficult strategic decision to leave the commercial PPO business in Nevada," said Paul Carter, President and CEO, Summerlin Life and Health Insurance Company. "We remain dedicated to ensuring that our customers continue to receive high-quality health care coverage and will do all that we can to ensure that they have a smooth transition to their new health coverage with Anthem or another carrier. In considering our endorsement decision, we sought an insurer with a strong local presence in Nevada that could provide our customers with a variety of product offerings and exceptional customer service, and Anthem clearly meets those criteria."

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Rocky Mountain Hospital and Medical Service, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. (R) ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is available at www.anthem.com.

About Summerlin Life and Health

Summerlin Life and Health Insurance Company is part of The i/mx Companies (www.imxinc.com) which provide managed health care services, insurance programs and information management technology to over two million covered lives through 750,000 contracted providers and 65,000 contracted pharmacies. The i/mx Companies offer a variety of health plans including HMO's, health insurance and excess loss insurance, PPO's, point of service plans, administrative services only plans and pharmacy benefit management plans, to employers, health and welfare trust funds, associations, national PPO networks, government entities and individuals. In addition, through i/mx Technologies, i/mx offers its proprietary information management system(s) and software to insurance companies, managed health care organizations, government entities, large self-funded employers and health and welfare trust funds.


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SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.
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