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Press release from Business Wire

A.M. Best Assigns Ratings to WellPoint Inc.'s Shelf Registration

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A.M. Best Assigns Ratings to WellPoint Inc.'s Shelf Registration15:11 EST Thursday, December 15, 2011 OLDWICK, N.J. (Business Wire) -- A.M. Best Co. has assigned indicative ratings of “bbb+” on senior unsecured debt, “bbb” on subordinated debt and “bbb-” on the preferred stock of WellPoint Inc.'s (WellPoint) (Indianapolis, IN) (NYSE: WLP) recently filed universal shelf registration. The outlook assigned to these ratings is stable. All existing ratings of WellPoint and its subsidiaries are unchanged. A.M. Best expects that any proceeds from the assigned debt would be used for working capital and general corporate purposes, which could include repayment of existing debt as well as business development expenditures. The rating assignments reflect WellPoint's diverse geographic market presence, strong operating results and cash flows as well as solid capitalization. WellPoint's debt-to-capital ratio was 29.8% as of September 30, 2011. The interest coverage ratio is strong and is anticipated to be maintained at or above 10 times. Both the debt to capital and interest coverage are well within the guidelines for the ratings. WellPoint maintains good liquidity through subsidiary dividends, its $2.5 billion commercial paper program, a $2 billion credit agreement and its parent company's cash balance. The principal methodology used in determining these ratings is Best's Credit Rating Methodology -- Global Life and Non-Life Insurance Edition, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best's rating process and highlights the different rating criteria employed. Additional key criteria utilized include: “A.M. Best's Ratings & the Treatment of Debt” and “Commercial Paper Methodology.” Methodologies can be found at www.ambest.com/ratings/methodology. Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is the world's oldest and most authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information, visit www.ambest.com. Copyright © 2011 by A.M. Best Company, Inc.ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.A.M. Best Co.Bridget MaehrSenior Financial Analyst908-439-2200, ext. 5321bridget.maehr@ambest.comorCarl AustinAssistant Vice President908-439-2200, ext. 5500carl.austin@ambest.comorRachelle MorrowSenior Manager, Public Relations908-439-2200, ext. 5378rachelle.morrow@ambest.comorJim PeavyAssistant Vice President, Public Relations908-439-2200, ext. 5644james.peavy@ambest.com