WellPoint to Sell Health Insurance on Internet

WellPoint Health Networks of Newbury Park and HealthAxis.com of East Norriton, Pa., have reached an Internet carrier partner agreement to distribute Blue Cross of California and UNICARE insurance products in seven states.

Under the agreement, online consumers will be able to purchase WellPoint's health insurance products under the Blue Cross and UNICARE names on HealthAxis.com. These products will start in California, then extend to the other six states--Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Nevada, Texas and Virginia.

Officials said the offerings will include health insurance and other specialty products for individuals and families. The companies also expect to offer insurance for the small group market in the near future.

"We see Internet-assisted sales as an important part of our future," said Alan Katz, WellPoint's senior vice president of sales development. "This partnership supports our existing distribution strategy, and, at the same time, creates new revenue opportunities for us."

WellPoint is one of the nation's largest publicly traded managed-care companies, with 6.9 million medical and 30 million specialty members through Blue Cross of California in California and UNICARE in other parts of the country.

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