WellPoint unveils new organizational structure

WellPoint, the Indianapolis-based parent corporation of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Hampshire, has announced a new organizational structure, splitting the company into two major business units.

Effective Nov. 1, WellPoint will form a Commercial and Consumer Business strategic business unit and a Specialty, Senior and State-Sponsored Business strategic business unit.

“The new organizational structure capitalizes on WellPoint’s unique competitive advantage — the ability to implement a national customer-focused approach at the local market level,” said Larry C. Glasscock, chairman, president and chief executive officer of WellPoint. “This new structure also supports our ability to achieve greater scale and efficiency while continuing to build and grow deep local relationships through our state plan presidents and local leadership teams.”

The Commercial and Consumer Business unit, which will be made up of individual plans, local and national group plans as well as UniCare, a health plan offered where the company does not have a licensed Blue plan, and HealthLink, which offers network rental, administrative services and other non-underwritten health benefit programs to employers, unions, government subdivisions, school and insurance companies, will be headed by John Watts Jr., the current president and CEO of the national accounts unit.

Joan Herman, current president and CEO of the insurer’s state-sponsored and senior plans, specialty and pharmacy business, will lead the new Specialty, Senior and State-sponsored Business unit, which includes the company’s senior and state plans such as Medicaid and SCHIP.

Anthem in New Hampshire, as a unit of WellPoint’s East region, is grouped under the new commercial unit.

“The new model should be transparent to members,” said WellPoint spokesperson James Kappel. “One of our strong elements is having the advantages of a national company with a strong local presence.”

As far as any tax incentives in forming the new structure, he said, “We’d have to take a look at that. Our focus with this model is to capitalize on our ability to bring new and innovative products to the local marketplace faster.”

Kappel also said the restructuring will also improve operations and technology as well as decrease administrative costs. — CINDY KIBBE

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