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WellPoint, BCBSA, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida and HCSC Collaborate to Expand Access to Health Care Cost Information
Date:7/30/2009

INDIANAPOLIS, July 30 /PRNewswire/ -- WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida and Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, today announced plans to collaborate to provide access to WellPoint's cost comparison tool, an online, consumer-friendly health care cost information tool. With this expansion, more than 48 million Americans will have access to valuable cost information.

"We developed this transparency tool in 2006 for use by members in our health plans, with the goal of creating well-informed consumers of health care," said Angela Braly, president and CEO, WellPoint, Inc. "We are pleased to be working with other Blue companies so that even more members can have access to clear, concise health cost information in major cities across the country."

"One of the most important ways that we as health insurers can add value to the health care system is by analyzing and providing access to meaningful information," said Paul Handel, MD, chief medical officer for HCSC. "This easy-to-access online tool will help our members increase their knowledge as patients and identify opportunities to spend their health care dollars more wisely."

Using Care Comparison, the name of the tool to be used by the Blue companies, these Blue companies will provide the total estimated cost ranges associated with approximately 35 specific medical procedures performed at more than 2,800 local hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, free-standing radiology facilities or other medical facilities.

The estimated cost ranges provided through Care Comparison are based on combining related services typically performed at each facility at the time of the procedure, not just the procedure itself
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SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.
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