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WellPoint Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2008 Results
Date:1/28/2009

$698.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2008, a decrease of 24.8 percent compared with $928.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. The decline primarily resulted from higher medical costs and membership mix changes in the Local Group business, including the timing of medical claims recognition. As previously disclosed, the Company strengthened reserves in the first quarter of 2008 when 2007 claims costs developed at a higher level than was anticipated at December 31, 2007.

The decline in operating gain also reflects lower fully insured enrollment in 2008, and a higher SG&A expense ratio reflecting increased compensation costs and expenses related to operational initiatives, including the recently announced workforce reduction.

Consumer Business: Operating gain for the Consumer Business segment was $230.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2008, an increase of 8.2 percent compared with $213.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2007. The increase was driven by improved results in State Sponsored operations, as the Company exited unprofitable Ohio Medicaid programs during the first half of 2008. Performance in the Company's Individual business also improved relative to the prior year quarter. These increases in operating gain were partially offset by lower results for the Senior business, primarily due to the benefit design of certain Medicare Advantage plans in 2008.


                                   OUTLOOK

    Full Year 2009:

-- The Company plans to provide more information at its 2009 Investor Conference on February 24, 2009.

Basis of Presentation

1. Operating gain is defined as operating revenue less benefit expense, selling expense, general and administrative expense, and cost of drugs. Operating gain is used to analyze profit or loss on a segment basis. Consolidated operating gain is a non-GAAP measure.


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SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.
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