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Press release from PR Newswire

WellPoint Helping Businesses Navigate Health Care Changes with Online Tools

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

WellPoint Helping Businesses Navigate Health Care Changes with Online Tools06:00 EDT Wednesday, October 06, 2010New Grandfathering Tool Helps Businesses Determine Best Health Plan Solution H&R Block Tax Calculator Tool Helps Companies Determine Tax Credits and Financial ImpactsINDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to help minimize confusion regarding implementation of health care reform provisions among business owners, WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP) has created two new tools designed to help business navigate the changes in health care, a grandfathering tool and a tax calculator tool. Both tools are available at www.wellpoint.com/healthcarereform.  The small business tax calculator tool and tax content were developed by The Tax Institute at H&R Block and also may be viewed by visiting www.thetaxinstitute.com.The interactive grandfathering tool is designed to help businesses better understand what grandfathering means, if they qualify for it, and what options are available to them with regard to their health plan. WellPoint has also joined forces with H&R Block to provide a convenient, comprehensive tool to help small business owners understand the financial impact, as well as the opportunities that accompany the changes in the health care system. "The grandfathering tool is another part of our commitment to help make health care reform work," said Marilyn McCullough, vice president of Marketing. "This tool will allow business owners to understand what grandfathering is, qualification parameters, and if it is potentially in their best interests to grandfather their current health plan.  This tool can help businesses quickly and easily determine a course of action based on their current plan in an easy to use and understandable tool."  McCullough added, "We are also extremely pleased to partner with H&R Block to make the small business tax calculator available, which can help small business owners understand the tax credits they are qualified for and allow them to better control and anticipate their health care costs.  It's WellPoint's hope that this resource will allow owners to focus on running a successful business and add some clarity as they navigate the health care system."      The small business tax calculator can help users understand the following reform provisions: The small business health care premium credit for qualified employers with 25 or fewer employees and average annual wages under $50,000 (2010) Requirements to provide employee coverage for full-time employees who work for businesses with 50 or more employees (2014)Employer penalties for not providing coverage when at least one full-time employee is enrolled in a subsidized health care plan (2014)The excise tax on high-cost health plans, which applies to plans that cost more than $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family (2018)."These tools will provide me with an easy way to communicate the financial impact that healthcare reform may have on my clients and to better communicate to them about grandfathering, and if it might be in their best interest," said David Berlinger, President, West Coast Insurance Agency. "Again, these are shining examples of why WellPoint is the leader in the industry.""These are tremendous tools that can help small businesses like ours better understand the changes associated with health care reform and to take advantage of the available credits and other provisions designed to improve the affordability of health care," said Brad Schwartz WestCoast Business Solutions.  "These interactive tools are clearly going to save us time and money, and I am sure many other businesses will benefit as well."About WellPoint, Inc.WellPoint works to simplify the connection between Health, Care and Value. We help to improve the health of our communities, deliver better care to members, and provide greater value to our customers and shareholders. WellPoint is the nation's largest health benefits company, with more than 33 million members in its affiliated health plans, and a total of more than 69 million individuals served through all subsidiaries.  As an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, WellPoint serves 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 the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In a majority of these service areas, WellPoint does business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield or Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield (in the New York service areas).  WellPoint also serves customers throughout the country as UniCare.  Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com.About The Tax Institute at H&R BlockThe Tax Institute at H&R Block is the go-to source for objective insights on federal and state tax laws affecting the individual. It provides nonpartisan information and analysis on the real world implications of tax policies and proposals to policymakers, journalists, experts and tax preparers. The Institute's experts include CPAs, Enrolled Agents, attorneys and former IRS agents who draw from years of experience and H&R Block's extensive network of resources. For more information visit our press center at http://thetaxinstitute.com. About H&R BlockH&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is one of the world's largest tax services providers, having prepared more than 550 million tax returns worldwide since 1955. In fiscal 2010, H&R Block had annual revenues of $3.9 billion and prepared more than 23 million tax returns worldwide, utilizing more than 100,000 highly trained tax professionals. The Company provides tax return preparation services in person, through H&R Block At Home? online and desktop software products, and through other channels. The Company is also one of the leading providers of business services through RSM McGladrey. For more information, visit our Online Press Center.SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.For further information: Jon Mills, WellPoint, +1-317-370-4029, jon.mills@wellpoint.com