NU Online News Service, Feb. 12, 12:19 p.m. – WellPoint Health Networks Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif., is reporting $76 million in net income for the fourth quarter of 2001 on $3.4 billion in revenue, up from $60 million in net income on $2.4 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2000.

The managed care company ended 2001 covering or administering major medical coverage for 10 million people, up from 7.9 million people a year earlier.

Average premium revenue per insured member increased 11%, to $475.

WellPoint has been expanding through acquisitions.

The company completed the acquisition of Cerulean Companies Inc., Atlanta, which had 1.9 million major medical members, in March 2001. Cerulean added $5.3 million in net income and $656 million in revenue to WellPoint’s fourth-quarter results, WellPoint says.

WellPoint completed a second major managed care acquisition, of RightCHOICE Managed Care Inc., St. Louis, Jan. 31. WellPoint is still reporting RightCHOICE results separately from its own.

RightCHOICE is reporting $17 million in net income for the fourth quarter on $310 million in revenue, up from $11 million in net income on $279 million in revenue.

Major medical enrollment increased to 3 million, from 2.7 million, and average premium revenue per insured member increased 9%, to $451.

WellPoint has also announced a third major managed care acquisition, of CareFirst Inc., Owings Mills, Md., but it does not expect to close on CareFirst until 2003.