WellPoint State Sponsored Business President Brings Together Industry Thought Leaders for National Medicaid Advisory Panel

INDIANAPOLIS, May 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With the recent passage of health care reform, Medicaid will provide more Americans with access to health care services and, understanding how to design and implement programs that will meet the needs of these individuals will be critical. To help foster a dialogue about public health care delivery and leverage the collective insights, expertise and guidance of physicians, policy makers and public and private stakeholders across the Medicaid segment, WellPoint's State Sponsored Business division announced today the formation of their National Medicaid Advisory Panel.  

The advisory panel brings together about a dozen leading Medicaid thought leaders from across the country representing the physician community, federally qualified health clinics, leaders in public health and academia as well as representatives of WellPoint's Comprehensive Health Solutions and State Sponsored Business units. Together the group will engage in open and frank conversations, and draw upon each other's knowledge and high caliber ideas that will help advise WellPoint on implementation of programs and strategies that can help provide high-quality, cost-effective delivery models created under health care reform.

Among the discussion held at the at the inaugural meeting earlier this week and led by Kevin Hayden, president of WellPoint's State Sponsored Business, the group discussed the growth and challenges expected with the expansion of Medicaid, health care delivery models that can be leveraged to provide greater access to health care and how to address the needs of special populations such as the Aged, Blind and Disabled.

"As the nation prepares to expand access to care for more Americans, we have a wonderful opportunity before us to help create programs that will provide greater access to care for Medicaid managed care beneficiaries but also develop programs that are unique to their needs and that will be sustainable and scalable," said Hayden. "As a leader in the industry, WellPoint is pleased to be joined by an esteemed group of Medicaid thought leaders from across the country who share our vision of expanding Medicaid programs that will help improve the lives of countless individuals and families."

About WellPoint, Inc.

WellPoint works to simplify the connection between Health, Care and Value. We help to improve the health of our members and our communities, and provide greater value to our customers and shareholders. WellPoint is the nation's largest health benefits company in terms of medical membership, with 34 million members in its affiliated health plans, and a total of more than 70 million individuals served through its subsidiaries.  As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin.  In a majority of these service areas, WellPoint's plans do business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas).  WellPoint also serves customers throughout the country as UniCare.  Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.

SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.