WellChoice Inc. says premium growth helped it overcome increases in administrative fees and other costs during the second quarter.[@@]

WellChoice, New York, the parent of Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield, is reporting $75 million in net income for the latest quarter on $1.7 billion in revenue, up from $65 million in net income on $1.5 billion in revenue for the second quarter of 2004.

The health insurer ended the quarter providing or administering health coverage for 5 million people, up from 4.9 million people a year earlier.