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WellPoint insiders sell stock at right time

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On The Beat Industry News In Brief

Take the money while it’s there.

That’s what a handful of insiders at WellPoint Inc. decided in the past month as they sold off nearly 150,000 company shares for gains of more than $3 million.

Their timing couldn’t have been better. WellPoint’s shares were up 25 percent during the first eight months of the year, although they seesawed throughout the summer health care debate.

They got a special bump in August after investors concluded President Obama was backing away from plans to create a government-run health insurance plan to compete with WellPoint and its peers.

But after Obama extolled the so-called public plan in a Labor Day speech, health insurers’ share prices fell again.

Among the WellPoint insiders selling was departing executive Randall Lewis. He unloaded more than 71,000 shares after exercising nearly 57,000 stock options, pocketing more than $1.26 million.

Two other WellPoint executives and five company directors sold shares and cashed in stock options to the tune of $1.86 million.

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