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WellPoint to acquire Va. Beach-based Amerigroup

WellPoint Inc., one of the nation’s largest insurers, will buy Virginia Beach-based Amerigroup Corp. for about $4.9 billion in a transaction expected to close early next year, the companies announced Monday.

Under the agreement, Amerigroup would lead the combined company’s Medicaid managed care business, which would serve 4.5 million beneficiaries of the federal-state insurance for low-income people and the disabled.

The acquisition comes as states ponder whether to expand their Medicaid programs, as directed by the Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last month said states couldn’t lose all federal Medicaid funding if they declined the expansion.

Company leaders said several of Amerigroup’s top executives have agreed to stay on, and though they couldn’t yet disclose details, they hinted that the change could add more jobs in Hampton Roads, where Amerigroup employs 2,300. WellPoint is based in Indianapolis.

“I’m really proud to believe that this transaction anchors Amerigroup in Hampton Roads beyond any horizon that I can see,” said James G. Carlson, Amerigroup’s CEO and chairman. “Our workforce has doubled as a company from 3,300 to 6,600 since 2007. If you just understand the trajectory of our employment growth, you can get pretty comfortable that we’ll be growing in Hampton Roads, as well as other markets we serve.”

Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms said… click to read more¬†

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