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WellPoint profit slides 61% as plan numbers drop

Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2009
WellPoint Inc. reported a 61% drop in fourth-quarter profit and held off on a detailed prognosis for 2009 as rising unemployment continues to reduce the ranks of people enrolled in its health plans. The country's largest health insurer in terms of members also reported enrollment declines, compared with the third quarter, in nearly every segment of health plans that it sells. Much of the decline isn't because employers are dropping health plans, Chief Executive Angela Braly said, but because thousands of jobs are being shed from work forces.