(AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) — WellPoint Inc. said fourth-quarter profit plunged 68 percent as consumers concerned about Obamacare’s impending changes flocked to doctors in higher numbers than anticipated.

The second-biggest U.S. medical insurer said it saw “higher utilization” in advance of Jan. 1, when the health law’s new insurance plans debuted. Higher medical costs, along with a $160.7 million loss on the sale of two eyewear businesses, helped send earnings down, the Indianapolis-based company said in a statement. Earnings excluding one-time items met the average analyst estimate.

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