IBJNews

WellPoint delays investor meeting to testify on rate flap

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., the biggest U.S. health insurer by enrollment, canceled a Feb. 23 meeting with investors because the company is preparing Congressional testimony over proposed premium increases in California.

The company’s previous earnings forecast of at least $6 a share for 2010 is now subject to the “ability to secure and maintain sufficient premium rates,” Wellpoint said in a statement Tuesday. The Indianapolis-based insurer said Feb. 13 it postponed the premium increases of as much as 39 percent by at least two months to allow California’s insurance commissioner to review the plan, after the proposal was criticized by state officials and the Obama administration.

While the company is “confident in our guidance,” the opposition to the premium increases “has added slight uncertainty, at least in terms of timing,” said Kristin Binns, a WellPoint spokeswoman, in a telephone interview today. “These premiums are actuarially sound and we feel confident these independent reviews are going to confirm that.”

Chief Executive Officer Angela Braly was called to testify Feb. 24 over the proposed increase, which may affect as many as 800,000 people, before a House of Representatives subcommittee led by California Democrat Henry Waxman. The company canceled the investor conference to give management time to prepare, Binns said. The company hasn’t determined which executives will attend the hearing.

WellPoint said previously that rising medical costs, the recession and shrinking enrollments are forcing increased fees.

Analysts had estimated 2010 adjusted profit of $6.12 in a Bloomberg survey. The company scheduled a conference call on March 17 to discuss its forecasts.

WellPoint rose $1.19, or 2 percent, to $59.33 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading on Feb. 12. Shares have gained 36 percent this year.


ADVERTISEMENT

  • Angela Braly obscene pay
    To understand the surreal hypocrisy, consider that WellPoint CEO Braly earns more than $37K per day, which is more than 40% of US households earn in an entire year (links to data can be found at http://bit.ly/bFb5N3 scroll down right sidebar)

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I always giggle when I read comments from people complaining that a market is "too saturated" with one thing or another. What does that even mean? If someone is able to open and sustain a new business, whether you think there is room enough for them or not, more power to them. Personally, I love visiting as many of the new local breweries as possible. You do realize that most of these establishments include a dining component and therefore are pretty similar to restaurants, right? When was the last time I heard someone say "You know, I think we have too many locally owned restaurants"? Um, never...

  2. It's good to hear that the festival is continuing to move forward beyond some of the narrow views that seemed to characterize the festival and that I and others had to deal with during our time there.

  3. Corner Bakery announced in March that it had signed agreements to open its first restaurants in Indianapolis by the end of the year. I have not heard anything since but will do some checking.

  4. "The project still is awaiting approval of a waiver filed with the Federal Aviation Administration that would authorize the use of the land for revenue-producing and non-aeronautical purposes." I wonder if the airport will still try to keep from paying taxes on these land tracts, even though they are designated as "non aeronatical?"

  5. How is this frivolous? All they are asking for is medical screenings to test the effects of their exposure. Sounds like the most reasonable lawsuit I've read about in a while. "may not have commited it" which is probably why they're suing to find out the truth. Otherwise they could just ask Walmart, were you negligent? No? OK, thanks for being honest.

ADVERTISEMENT