NU Online News Service, Sept. 27, 3:05 p.m. – WellPoint Health Networks Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif., and CareFirst Inc., Owings Mills, Md., say they will spend 60 days rethinking plans that call for WellPoint to acquire CareFirst through a $1.3 billion merger.

Maryland insurance regulators recently received a report from consultants suggesting that WellPoint ought to be paying between $1.38 billion and $2.25 billion for CareFirst.

CareFirst holds the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licenses for northern Virginia, the District of Columbia, Maryland and Delaware. It provides or administers major medical coverage for 3.2 million people.

WellPoint provides or administers major medical coverage for 13 million people and holds the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licenses for Georgia and Missouri. The company also holds the Blue Cross license for California.