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Part D Boosts WellPoint Earnings

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The new Medicare prescription drug program helped fourth-quarter profits at a large managed care company.

WellPoint Inc., Indianapolis, is reporting $801 million in net income for the fourth quarter of 2006 on $15 billion in revenue, up from $652 million in net income on $11 billion in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2005.

The company ended the year providing or administering health coverage for 34 million U.S. residents–about as many as it covered a year earlier.

Membership in the new Medicare Part D prescription program reached 1.6 million, up from 0 a year earlier.