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WellPoint to Reduce Operating Expenses for Continued Long-Term Success
Date:1/16/2009

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP) today announced it is streamlining its administrative cost structure in response to the ongoing economic downturn as it continues to manage its business for long-term success.

As part of this initiative, WellPoint is eliminating approximately 1,500 positions. This includes the elimination of more than 900 open positions. The approximately 600 associates affected by the layoff will receive both severance pay and outplacement assistance in accordance with WellPoint's policies. WellPoint anticipates these actions will result in a fourth quarter 2008 after-tax charge of approximately $24 million.

"With the current state of the economy we made the difficult decision to adjust the size of our workforce as we continue to meet our members' needs while appropriately controlling operating expenses," said Angela F. Braly, president and chief executive officer of WellPoint, Inc. "We remain committed to providing our members with the high-quality customer service they expect and developing innovative solutions to address the rising costs of health care."

Customer service to all members remains a high priority for WellPoint. This adjustment to the size of its workforce does not impact any existing compliance staff involved in its Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D compliance process.

"WellPoint remains a financially strong company with a diverse investment portfolio and ample liquidity," said Wayne DeVeydt, chief financial officer, WellPoint, Inc. "We proactively manage our business and make adjustments based on market conditions while striving to provide the best value through innovative products and services."

"We continue to build on momentum from our 2008 performance improvement plan, making the necessary change
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SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.
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