Bolstered by growing membership, WellPoint reported an annual 2007 profit of $3.3 billion, up 8.1% from the previous year. For the fourth quarter, net income was $851.9 million, a 7% increase for the same period in 2006.
Medical-coverage enrollment for the Indianapolis-based insurer reached 34.8 million members at the end of 2007, an increase of 2.1%, or 708,000 members over 2006. The largest portion of the enrollment increase537,000 memberswas in national business, which includes large, multistate organizations, the company said. Revenue rose 7.1% to $60.1 billion in 2007 over the previous year. Revenue was $15.3 billion in the fourth quarter, an increase of 6.8% over the final quarter in 2006.
WellPoint also announced that it is pulling out of Ohios Covered Families and Children Medicaid program as of March 31, which will result in a membership drop of 148,000. The company will continue to have about 21,000 Ohio members in the states Aged, Blind and Disabled program.
The company lowered enrollment expectations in 2008 to 35.6 million members, or 800,000 additional new members projected this year. Rising medical costs hit WellPoint last year. The company reported higher medical-expense ratios than the prior year, largely due to its Medicaid and Medicare sectors, leaving some analysts expressing concerns. Wayne DeVeydt, WellPoints chief financial officer, said he remains confident that the company will see annual growth of 15.3% in 2008. -- by Rebecca Vesely
What do you think? Post a comment on this article and share your opinion with other readers. Submit your letter to Modern Physician Online at [email protected]. Please be sure to include your hometown and state, along with your organization and title.