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Request To Shift Va. Anthem Operations Draws 200 Comments

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The Virginia State Corporation Commission plans to hold a hearing July 10 in Richmond, Va., on efforts by WellPoint Inc. to move some offices out of the state.

WellPoint, Indianapolis, acquired Trigon Healthcare Inc., Richmond, Va., in 2002. At that time, WellPoint told state insurance regulators it would leave Trigon’s claims processing, customer service, sales and provider services operations in Virginia.

When the SCC approved WellPoint’s acquisition of Trigon, it required WellPoint to seek written approval from the SCC Bureau of Insurance before moving the operations out of Virginia, officials say.

The plan is now part of WellPoint’s Anthem Health Plans unit.

In April, WellPoint asked the SCC to ease restrictions on its ability to move some Anthem Health Plans of Virginia operations out of Virginia.

“Maintaining duplication simply to satisfy the desire for local function is a cost the health care system cannot afford,” WellPoint told Virginia insurance regulators.

The Virginia Bureau of Insurance does not oppose WellPoint’s request, but about 200 members of the public have filed comments on the request, and the Medical Society of Virginia, Richmond, Va., and the Virginia Dental Association, Richmond, both requested a hearing, SCC officials say.

“The Bureau [of Insurance] is offering suggested changes to the provisions of the 2002 order if the commission should deny all or part of the company’s request,” SCC officials say.

The SCC says it will stream audio of the hearing through the Web.

More information about the hearing is on the Web


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