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WellPoint Appoints Brian A. Sassi as President and CEO of the Company's Consumer Business Unit

Leslie A. Margolin Named President of Blue Cross of California

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP) today announced that Brian A. Sassi has been appointed president and chief executive officer of the company's Consumer Business Unit, which includes the Individual, Senior and State Sponsored (Medicaid) customer segments.

Sassi, formerly president of Blue Cross of California, replaces Joan Herman, who announced her plans last year to retire in 2008. Sassi will begin transitioning into his new role immediately and assume full responsibility on February 1.

"Brian Sassi has a 25-year career in the health insurance industry and an impressive record of accomplishments in our company," said Angela F. Braly, president and chief executive officer of WellPoint, Inc. "His strong combination of market knowledge, operational experience and industry leadership will help ensure continued growth of our Consumer Business Unit, which has been and will continue to be critical to WellPoint's success."

Since joining Blue Cross of California in 1989, Sassi has held a number of leadership roles, including vice president of operations and strategic initiatives, general manager of small group accounts, and general manager of large group accounts. Prior to joining Blue Cross of California, Sassi held a number of industry management positions.

Separately, the company announced that Leslie Margolin will become president and general manager of Blue Cross of California. Margolin will be responsible for health plan management including product and service innovation, underwriting and sales, as well as client and broker relations for both small and large group health coverage. In this role, Margolin is also responsible for the development of Blue Cross of California's long-term strategic direction and collaborating with local and state elected officials to improve the health of Californians. She will join the company on February 11.

"Blue Cross of California, the state's oldest and largest health plan, has been committed to ensuring the highest quality and most affordable care for Californians for more than 70 years," said Braly. "Leslie Margolin, an extremely respected industry leader in California, will work diligently to improve health, manage costs, introduce innovative products, and deliver world-class, distinctive service to our customers and members throughout the state."

Margolin has more than 20 years of health care experience, including senior strategic and operational roles at Kaiser Permanente and CIGNA. Margolin previously served as senior vice president for health plan and hospital operations for Kaiser Permanente's integrated delivery systems and as the management lead of its Labor Management Partnership. Prior to her work at Kaiser Permanente, Margolin served as president of CIGNA HealthCare of California and general manager of CIGNA's Southern California health care operations, and for 10 years was a member of CIGNA's in-house legal department.

About WellPoint, Inc.

WellPoint's mission is to improve the lives of the people it serves and the health of its communities. WellPoint, Inc. is the largest health benefits company in terms of commercial membership in the United States. Through its nationwide networks, the company delivers a number of leading health benefit solutions through a broad portfolio of integrated health care plans and related services, along with a wide range of specialty products such as life and disability insurance benefits, pharmacy benefit management, dental, vision, behavioral health benefit services, as well as long term care insurance and flexible spending accounts. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, WellPoint is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at

SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.
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