WellPoint profit grows 3% with more Medicaid business

WellPoint's profit grew 3 percent in the first quarter of 2013, largely because enrollment increased after it acquired Medicaid insurer Amerigroup last year.

The country's second largest insurer reported $885 million in net income, compared to $857 million last year. WellPoint's revenue also increased, growing 16 percent to $17.6 billion, according to the earnings report released Friday.

WellPoint Chief Financial Officer Wayne DeVeydt said the Amerigroup acquisition could result in immediate profits because it gives WellPoint a market presence in several states that are expanding Medicaid coverage under the reform law, reported the Associated Press.

Meanwhile, CEO Joseph Swedish promised to continue improving the insurer's culture and focus since he took over the position from ousted Angela Braly. "I'm going to drive WellPoint forward with an emphasis on performance, transparency and accountability," Swedish said during a conference call with analysts, according to Bloomberg. "We need to be nimble and proactive."

He also noted WellPoint has taken steps to prepare for the new health insurance exchanges, including contracting with providers to serve exchange plan enrollees. "We have substantially completed our exchange-based product design and pricing development work," Swedish said, LifeHealthPro reported.

To learn more:
- here's the WellPoint earnings report
- read the Associated Press article
- see the Bloomberg article
- check out the LifeHealthPro article