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Press Release

Back to School and Back to Important Health Basics for Youth

IBC launches interactive website to engage adolescents and teens

Philadelphia, PA - September 18, 2009 - As students head back to school this month, there is no better time to start thinking about health and wellness. In August, Independence Blue Cross (IBC) proudly launched its new, highly-interactive website, Good 2 B Me, for young members and their parents to learn more about the physical, emotional, and social issues affecting the overall health of teens and adolescents.

Adolescence is a time when habits surrounding personal well-being begin to form-habits that often last throughout teenagers' lives. IBC's Good 2 B Me website serves as an entertaining and educational resource for young people ages 11 to 17 to learn about developing healthy habits, while they gain confidence to make smart choices for wellness and preventive health. Visit IBC's new site today at www.good2bme.org.

The website is divided into two separate, virtual worlds for preteens (ages 11 to 13), and older teenagers (ages 14 to 17). A third section for parents offers a one-stop source to help them guide their children through these challenging years. The virtual worlds feature practical tips offered through attention-getting graphics and interactive, 3-D navigation. Customized content makes Good 2 B Me fun to explore. Site visitors receive a virtual cell phone through which they'll receive texts directing them through the website.

A key focus of Good 2 B Me is the crucial role immunizations play in protecting health. More than 35 million American adolescents do not receive the immunizations that are recommended before age 14, which makes them more susceptible to certain illnesses and diseases. Some of the immunizations for this age group include influenza, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), and HPV. Parents are encouraged to discuss dosage requirements and frequency of each vaccine with their children's doctor. The website also tackles a number of other issues, including eating well, exercise, weight management, personal hygiene, and substance abuse.

"Being here every step of the way means conveying to members young and old how important living healthy can be," said Dr. Es Nash, senior medical director at IBC. "As one who has parented three children through the teen years, I've seen how kids can learn 'serious' stuff through the internet and games, and have fun at the same time. We're excited about our new site because it provides answers to health questions that our younger members and their parents may have, while connecting with kids in a new and creative way. These years are a key time for teens to develop healthy habits, and to be good influences on their peers."

Enter to Win!

IBC urges members who are parents to visit Good 2 B Me and enter their children in a raffle to win a Nintendo® Wii before November 30, 2009. The incentive is available for both the 11 to 13 and 14 to 17 age groups. Parents' only requirement to enter the raffle is to visit the new website and complete an Incentive Request Form, proving their children received their recommended immunizations. Additional prizes include tickets to the Philadelphia Zoo, movies, and local amusement parks.

About Independence Blue Cross

Independence Blue Cross, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. Nationwide, Independence Blue Cross and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.3 million people. For more than 70 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross's HMO and PPO health care plans have consistently received the highest ratings from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Independence Blue Cross supports comprehensive health care reform that would extend coverage to all Americans, reduce costs, and improve quality. We also advocate reform that builds on the current employer-based system that currently serves 170 million Americans. Learn more about our views on health care legislation now working its way through Congress.

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