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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and Middletown Regional Hospital Extend Agreement through 2008

New agreement includes Anthem Senior Advantage plans 

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio – November 17, 2006 – Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio (Anthem) and Middletown Regional Hospital (MRH) have reached an agreement to extend their contract though December 31, 2008. This agreement, which also includes Anthem Senior Advantage plans, underscores the importance of both quality and affordability in healthcare and reaffirms Anthem’s and MRH’s commitment to meeting the region’s healthcare needs. MRH will also remain in Anthem’s Medicare Select (Medicare Supplement) program.

“We’re very pleased that our long-term relationship with MRH and the Middletown community continues,” said Rich Gunza, Dayton area director, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield. “Providing access to affordable, quality healthcare to the people of this region is just one way Anthem demonstrates our continued commitment to improve the lives of the people we serve and of those in all of our communities.”

“We are delighted that Anthem and MRH have reached an agreement,” says Douglas W. McNeill, president and CEO of Middletown Regional Health System, “so that Anthem members will continue to have full access to convenient, local healthcare at Middletown Regional and its affiliates. We’re also especially pleased to again be able to accept Anthem’s Senior Advantage.”

Already a part of Anthem’s provider network, Middletown Regional Hospital and its affiliated services will continue their existing participation in Anthem’s Blue Traditional, Blue Access (PPO), Blue Preferred Primary Plus (POS) and Blue Preferred Primary (HMO), as well as Anthem Senior Advantage (HMO and PPO) and Medicare Select plans, through the end of 2008.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio is a subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP). WellPoint, Inc. is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan counties and as Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.

Middletown Regional Hospital holds a long-term commitment to providing the most recent medical advances and the latest technology to residents of southwest Ohio. In December 2007, MRH will open state-of-the-art, 250-bed Atrium Medical Center on 190-acre Premier Health Campus – Middletown. Located less than a quarter mile east of I-75 near the State Route 122 and Union Road intersection, this health campus will bring together a sophisticated array of services and health providers to meet the region’s medical needs now and into the future. Middletown Regional Hospital, along with Miami Valley and Good Samaritan hospitals in Dayton, is a member of Premier Health Partners. To learn more, visit www.middletownhospital.org.