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Archive for Thursday, May 31, 2001

BCBS of Kansas to be sold

May 31, 2001

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— Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Kansas, the largest health insurer in the state, will announce today it is being purchased by Anthem Inc., one of the largest health-care companies in the United States, officials said.

The Indianapolis-based Anthem has acquired several state Blue Cross-Blue Shields in the past few years.

"I think Anthem essentially specializes in that," said State Sen. Sandy Praeger, R-Lawrence.

Praeger said she was informed of the move Wednesday by Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Kansas officials.

Praeger said she was told the purchase would not affect jobs nor policies in Kansas. Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Kansas covers some 700,000 Kansans and has about 2,000 employees in Topeka.

Praeger said the purchase is "all about enlarging the risk pool."

Bob Hanson, a spokesman for Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Kansas, declined to comment, except to say that Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Kansas would make a major announcement at a news conference today in Topeka.

Anthem officials could not be reached for comment. The company reports serving more than 7 million customers with annual revenues of more than $6 billion.

Anthem is the Blue Cross-Blue Shield licensee in eight other states: Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Colorado, Nevada and Maine.

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