Strong sales to big employers helped WellPoint Inc. generate healthy second-quarter earnings.[@@]

WellPoint, Indianapolis, is reporting $559 million in net income for the latest quarter on $11 billion in revenue, up from $238 million in net income on $4.5 billion in revenue for the second quarter of 2004.

Anthem Inc., Indianapolis, formed WellPoint Inc. by acquiring a bigger managed care company, WellPoint Health Networks Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif., through a merger in November 2004.

Although the merger was responsible for most of the company’s 146% increase in revenue, internal growth helped push up revenue 8%, WellPoint says.

The company ended the second quarter providing or administering health coverage for 29 million people, up from 13 million people a year earlier. “Same store” enrollment increased about 6%.

Much of the growth in enrollment is coming from national accounts with more than 5,000 members, WellPoint says.

WellPoint also added 177,000 health plan members by acquiring Lumenos Inc., Alexandria, Va., a pioneer in the market for health plans that incorporate personal health accounts.

WellPoint says it expects to maintain its current profit margins on commercial group health coverage.

“The company continues to believe that full year 2005 medical cost trend will be less than 9% and that commercial premium yield will at least equal total cost trend,” WellPoint says in a discussion of its earnings.