As it happens, Blue Cross left one item off the list of factors affecting Galanter's premiums: profit. A couple of weeks ago, its parent, WellPoint Inc., reported that net income for the fourth quarter of 2005 had tripled to $652 million from a year earlier. Not all the increase was due to higher premiums and lower benefits; some resulted from charges that modestly pared profit a year ago. In any case, for calendar 2005, WellPoint reported a profit of nearly $2.5 billion.
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