WellPoint was formed when WellPoint Health Networks Inc. and Anthem, Inc. merged on Nov. 30, 2004. WellPoint Health Network Inc.'s predecessor was Blue Cross of California, which was founded in 1982 with the consolidation of Blue Cross of Northern California (established in 1936) and Blue Cross of Southern California (established in 1937). WellPoint was formed in 1992 to operate Blue Cross of California's managed care business. In 1993, Blue Cross of California spun off its managed care business into a separate publicly traded entity, WellPoint Health Networks Inc. In 1996, Blue Cross of California completed the conversion of all its business to for-profit status, resulting in a restructuring that designated WellPoint Health Networks Inc. as the parent organization. Anthem, Inc. grew out of two Indianapolis-based corporations formed in 1944 and 1946 as mutual insurance companies. Those two companies were created to provide health insurance to residents of Indiana as Blue Cross of Indiana and Blue Shield of Indiana. They eventually merged to form Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana. In October 2001, Anthem demutualized and conducted an initial public offering of common stock. WellPoint acquired WellChoice of New York for $6.5 billion in a deal that closed at the end of 2005. WellChoice was the parent of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, the biggest health insurance firm in New York with over 4.8 million members. Here is a brief overview of WellPoint: We are the leading health plan in the U.S. with approximately 35 million medical members. One in nine Americans receives coverage for their medical care through WellPoint's affiliated health plans. WellPoint is a Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 14 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin. We offer a broad range of medical and specialty products.