WellPoint Inc. is acquiring Lumenos Inc., one of the companies that popularized the idea of combining high-deductible health coverage with personal health accounts.[@@]

WellPoint, Indianapolis, a health insurer that provides or administers health coverage for 28 million U.S. residents, has agreed to pay $185 million in cash for Lumenos and hopes to complete the acquisition by June 30, WellPoint says.

Lumenos, Alexandria, Va., was founded in 1999 and now generates about $45 million in revenue per year by running health coverage programs that include health reimbursement arrangements, health savings accounts and other types of personal health accounts. Lumenos plans serve about 214,000 members, according to Lumenos.

WellPoint executives say the company is making the deal to get access to the Lumenos customer base and the company’s experience with health accounts.

Lumenos executives say they are selling to WellPoint to get the resources they need to enroll millions of additional consumers in account-based plans.

A WellPoint competitor, UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn., recently acquired another account-based plan pioneer, Definity Health Corp., Minneapolis, for $300 million. Definity said it was running account-based health plan programs for plans with about 500,000 members.