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WellPoint Hopes a Name Change Will Ensure a New Tide of Consumers

Surabhi Dangi-Garimella, PhD
With a consumer-focused approach, the second-largest healthcare provider in the United States has announced plans to change its corporate name to Anthem, Inc, the
company it merged with a decade ago.1 The merger in 2004 between Anthem Inc and WellPoint Health Networks Inc created the giant conglomerate that is WellPoint Inc.2

In the press release making the announcement, Joseph Swedish, president and CEO of WellPoint said, “As consumer engagement is heightened, we recognize that brand—an indicator of trust and a predictor of willingness to engage—is going to be of increasing importance. We believe it is important to call ourselves by the name that people know best—Anthem. Changing the corporate brand to Anthem is an important expression of our commitment to serve as a trusted partner in health.”1

Following the merger, WellPoint used the Anthem brand to cover 14 of its Blue-plan states, while the WellPoint name was used in investor materials and social media activities.3 Following implementation of the Affordable Care Act, insurance marketplaces (exchanges) were created across states, which saw a tremendous rise in WellPoint’s enrollment numbers early this year. “There’s been a major pivot to a more consumer-focused approach. The Anthem brand is better-recognized among consumers, and we’re not going to swim upstream any longer,” said Swedish in an interview with the Wall Street Journal.3 EBO
References

1. WellPoint announces intent to change corporate name to Anthem, Inc [press release]. Indianapolis, IN: WellPoint, Inc; August 13, 2014. http://ir.wellpoint.com/phoenix. zhtml?c=130104&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1958094&highlight=.

2. Company history. WellPoint website. http://www.wellpoint.com/aboutwellpoint/companyhistory/. Accessed August 13,2014.

3. WellPoint changes its name to Anthem. The Wall Street Journal website. http://online.wsj.com/articles/wellpointchanges-its-name-to-anthem-1407877202. Published August 12, 2014. Accessed August 13, 2014.
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