Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Michigan And Blue Care Network Sell New Offerings

DETROIT, Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is expanding its product portfolio to offer businesses more choices than ever before in health care products.

The company will be selling several new PPO, HMO and Health Savings Account products beginning in October. The products will be up and operating for groups on Jan. 1, 2005.

"The products offer greater flexibility and more choices than ever before," said Kathy Elston, Blues vice president for Michigan Marketing and Sales.

Several new PPO plans -- called Healthy Blue PPOs -- are being introduced to group customers. Healthy Blue PPOs offer a simpler PPO benefit design because they eliminate member deductibles. Members simply have the same percentage copayment for all medical services by in-network medical providers and another across-the-board percentage copayment for services delivered out- of-network. Members pay less when they use in-network medical providers.

Group customers can select from several member percentage copayment levels in the Healthy Blue PPOs. Depending on the benefit design selected, the in- network/out-of-network percentage copayments for members can be 10/20 percent, 20/30 percent or 30/50 percent.

Healthy Blue is delivered through a network of nearly 20,000 primary care and specialty care physicians throughout the state and 146 hospitals, and covers some important screening and preventive services. Those services include adult and childhood immunizations, health maintenance exams, routine pap smears, mammograms, prostate screening, well baby and child care visits and colonoscopy screening exams.

In the HMO marketplace, the Blues are offering a Blue Care Network HMO deductible product. This is the first product by Blue Care Network that is deductible-based. There will be several standard deductible arrangements, including $250 per member/$500 per family, $500 per member/$1,000 per family, and $1,000 per member/$2,000 per family.

The Blues are also offering five qualified high-deductible plans called Blue HSA(SM) that can be used in combination with Health Savings Accounts. These satisfy specific federal requirements related to deductibles and out-of- pocket expenses for these types of products.

For more information, groups should contact a local independent insurance agent, chamber of commerce or business association, many of which sell Blue products.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit corporation, provides health care benefits to nearly 4.8 million members through a variety of plans: Traditional Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue Preferred, Community Blue and Healthy Blue PPOs, Blue Choice Point of Service, Blue Care Network HMO, and Blue HSA(SM) plans compatible with health savings accounts. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit http://www.bcbsm.com/ .

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

CONTACT: Helen Stojic, +1-313-225-8113, or Jon Ogar, +1-517-322-4320,both of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, mediarelations@bcbsm.com

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