Aug 29, 2012
The Wall Street Journal: WellPoint’s Braly Quits Amid Pressure
Under pressure from investors unhappy with the health insurer’s performance and direction, WellPoint Inc. Chief Executive Angela Braly resigned Tuesday, and the company’s board said it would begin a search for a permanent replacement. The abrupt shift came as the board’s leadership had been meeting with major investors in the wake of a disappointing second-quarter earnings report that sharpened concerns about Ms. Braly and the company’s strategy. Indeed, lead independent director Jackie M. Ward was scheduled to meet with other investors Wednesday (Wilde Mathews and Kamp, 8/28).
Los Angeles Times: WellPoint CEO Angela Braly Quits, Bowing To Investor Pressure
The nation’s second-largest health insurer, which runs Anthem Blue Cross in California, announced late Tuesday that Angela Braly, 51, had stepped down effective immediately. WellPoint, which runs Blue Cross plans in 14 states and has more than 33 million customers nationwide, named John Cannon, its general counsel, as interim CEO. Braly had been dogged by criticism over WellPoint’s slumping stock, managerial blunders and disappointing earnings. She also caught the ire of consumers and even President Obama in 2010 for trying to raise rates by up to 39% in California (Terhune, 8/29).
Reuters/The New York Times: WellPoint C.E.O. Resigns As Sales Fall
WellPoint, a health insurance company, said on Tuesday that its chief executive, Angela F. Braly, had stepped down. It said it would look at internal and external candidates for a successor (8/28).
In other insurance news —
The Washington Post: Zero Out Of 512 Employers Plan To Drop Health Insurance, Survey Says
Which makes this Towers-Watson survey all the more surprising: The consulting firm polled 512 companies that employed more than 1,000 workers each. These are companies that spend at least $5 million in health benefits annually. They were asked how likely it was that they would drop coverage in 2014 and send employers to the new health care exchanges being created to accommodate the law. Not a single employer said that scenario was “very likely.” A mere 3 percent ranked it “somewhat likely.” The vast majority — 77 percent said — it was “not likely” that they would stop offering health insurance (Kliff, 8/28).
Modern Healthcare: Feds Extend Review Of Amerigroup, WellPoint Deal
Amerigroup Corp., a Virginia Beach, Va.-based managed-care provider for Medicare and Medicaid recipients, announced that it has received a second request for information from federal antitrust officials investigating the potential $4.9 billion acquisition of the company by WellPoint. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Amerigroup disclosed that the Justice Department has requested additional information on its operations in Virginia (Carlson, 8/28).
Modern Healthcare: Health Insurers Offer New Products In Preparation For Healthcare Reform
While waiting for Michigan’s health insurance exchange to open in 2014, small businesses and individuals seeking health insurance have a few more options, with new products offered by UnitedHealthcare Michigan and Health Alliance Plan of Michigan. Health insurers in Southeast Michigan are already gearing up their small business and individual health insurance products to prepare for 2014, when the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Act of 2010 fully kicks in and most individuals are required to purchase insurance (Greene, 8/28).
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