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In $4.9B deal, WellPoint acquires NJ Medicaid, CHIP managing company

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Looking to expand its Medicaid footprint, Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc. announced Monday it had reached an agreement to acquire Amerigroup Corp. for nearly $4.9 billion.

The deal will bring WellPoint's state-sponsored beneficiaries to more than 4.5 million, including New Jersey Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program and Supplemental Security Income recipients. Amerigroup's New Jersey office, in the Iselin section of Woodbridge, has been managing these programs for the state since 1996, according to the company's website.

"By joining forces, we can provide additional resources to meet the unique needs of Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries and the integrated care coordination for those who are dually eligible," said John Koehn, CEO of Amerigroup's New Jersey business. "We are particularly excited by the possibilities and opportunities that this partnership will bring to our state partners and members."

In a statement from the New Jersey Department of Human Services, spokeswoman Nicole Brossoie said New Jersey Medicaid managed care program will remain under the Amerigroup name.

WellPoint will now have a Medicaid footprint in 19 states. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.

"We know that lowering costs for states while improving the quality of care for program beneficiaries is a winning proposition for our members, company, associates, shareholders and the entire health care system," said Angela Braly, president and CEO of WellPoint, in the company's announcement.

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