WellPoint delays investor meeting to testify on rate flap

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.

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