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WellPoint Honored by EPA for Reduction of Traffic and Air Polution; Ranked #18 as Best Workplace for Commuters

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Sep 30, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Southern California operations of WellPoint (NYSE:WLP), the nation's second largest health plan, has been named one of the best workplaces for commuters by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. WellPoint ranked #18 and is the only health insurer to qualify listed.

According to the EPA, the list "recognizes those FORTUNE 500 companies that provide the highest level of commuting options for their employees. Employers are recognized for their leadership in easing the pollution and stress caused by so many vehicles on our nation's roads."

WellPoint offers a Guaranteed Ride Home program, tax-free vanpool subsidies, rewards for carpooling, walking or biking to work and subsidized transit passes.

"WellPoint is honored to receive this recognition from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency," said Leonard D. Schaeffer, chairman and chief executive officer of WellPoint. "A key component of WellPoint's social responsibility program is to provide resources that positively impact our environment. As a Southern California-headquartered company, WellPoint is acutely aware of the importance of traffic and air pollution reduction. We therefore provide a host of resources to encourage our more than 7,000 Southern California associates to walk, bicycle, carpool, vanpool or take mass transit," Schaeffer added.

Said Mike Leavitt, EPA's administrator, "Gridlock produces more than $63 billion in congestion costs per year. Companies that offer commuter benefits help curb these costs and make a significant contribution to the health and welfare of their employees."

WellPoint Health Networks Inc. serves the health care needs of 15.5 million medical members and 46.2 million specialty members nationwide through Blue Cross of California, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin, HealthLink and UniCare. Visit WellPoint on the web at www.wellpoint.com. Blue Cross of California, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

SOURCE: WellPoint Health Networks Inc.

WellPoint Health Networks Inc.
Ken Ferber, 805-557-6794
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