WellPoint cutting stock grants to employees

* Some employees to no longer regularly receive grants

* Grants to top executives reduced

NEW YORK, Feb 5 (BestGrowthStock) – Health insurer WellPoint Inc
(WLP.N: ) is cutting stock grants this year to its employees as
it seeks to control costs in the face of a weak economy.

Certain employees will no longer be eligible for a standard
stock grant, while top-level executives will receive fewer
grants, a company spokeswoman said.

Those employees who will not receive standard grants will
still be eligible for them on a merit basis, spokeswoman
Kristin Binns said.

She declined to specify the extent of the grant reduction
or how many workers would no longer regularly receive them, but
said the change was not material to WellPoint’s financial
results.

“It’s our goal to run more efficiently, to manage expenses
on behalf of our customers, so we looked at areas across our
business where we could contain costs,” Binns said.

WellPoint, the largest U.S. health insurer by membership,
has seen its results pressured by high unemployment, as fewer
people with jobs mean fewer people using their employer-based
insurance plans.

The company, which has also been cutting jobs to control
costs, has projected lower operating earnings this year.

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(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; Editing by Bernard Orr)

WellPoint cutting stock grants to employees