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WellPoint calls for expanded government health insurance

January 8, 2007
WellPoint calls for expanded government health insuranceWellPoint Inc. this morning called for expanding government programs and public-private partnerships as part of a plan to provide health insurance coverage for the uninsured.

The Indianapolis insurer supports broadening state health care programs that cover uninsured children. WellPoint also advocates expanding programs that cover children in families earning up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level.

It also supports public-private partnerships that help people who do not qualify for public assistance, like premium-assistance programs for families that need help paying for private insurance.
WellPoint’s statement came on the opening day of the 2007 General Assembly. The company said it supports increasing tobacco taxes to pay for the expansions in health coverage. However, the company stopped short of endorsing a tobacco tax proposed by Gov. Mitch Daniels.

The company is introducing no new products as part of its plan, but pledged to contribute at least $30 million over the next three years from its charitable foundation toward community and state-based programs that support its “uninsured initiatives across the country,” according to the statement.

WellPoint subsidiary Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana would be responsible for carrying out its plan in its home state, said Anthem spokesman Tony Felts.
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