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WellPoint Reports Second Quarter 2009 Results
Date:7/29/2009

nd quarter of 2009, a decrease of 40 basis points from 83.3 percent in the prior year quarter. The decrease was driven by the Consumer reporting segment and included higher-than-anticipated favorable prior year reserve development. The Consumer benefit expense ratio also improved due to plan design and pricing changes in the Medicare Advantage product portfolio, and the Company's withdrawal from certain State Sponsored programs.

These declines in the benefit expense ratio were partially offset by an increase in the ratio for Local Group business, particularly in California and Ohio, which have been among the states most impacted by the current recession. The Local Group benefit expense ratio was unfavorably impacted by business mix changes and a slight increase in health care utilization.

Premium and Cost Trends: Trends represent Local Group fully insured business.

The Company continues to project that underlying medical cost trends will be in the range of 8.0 percent, plus or minus 50 basis points, for full year 2009. Unit cost increases continue to be the primary driver of medical cost trends, however the Company has recognized a slight increase in utilization through the first six months of 2009. As a result of this observation and expectations for elevated flu-related claims this fall, the Company believes that full year medical cost trend will be closer to the higher end of the guidance range. The Company continues to price its business so that expected premium yield exceeds total cost trend, where total cost trend includes medical costs and selling, general and administrative ("SG&A") expense.

Days in Claims Payable: Days in Claims Payable ("DCP") as of June 30, 2009, was 45.9 days, a decline of 1.8 days from 47.7 days as of December 31, 2008, and June 30, 2008. The decrease in DCP reflected a lower Medical Claims Payable balance resulting from the reduc
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SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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