INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — WellPoint, one of the biggest players on the health care overhaul's new insurance exchanges, wants to switch its corporate name back to the Anthem brand its customers know by the end of this year.
The nation's second-largest health insurer said the name it used before combining in 2004 with WellPoint Health Networks is the best brand to go by in a market that's becoming more consumer-focused.
WellPoint sells coverage using its Anthem name in several states, including California, Kentucky and its home state of Indiana. The company doesn't sell plans under the WellPoint name.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield insurer has jumped aggressively into a new marketplace created by the health care overhaul in which brand recognition is important. The federal law debuted public insurance exchanges last fall on which insurers complete side-by-side to sell coverage to individuals, many of whom have income-based tax credits to help them buy a plan.
WellPoint added 769,000 customers through those exchanges. That represents a small slice of its total enrollment, which tops 37 million. But the insurer also depends more than its competitors on selling coverage in the individual market and to small companies that provide coverage for their employees, two more areas where brand recognition also is important.
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