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Press Release

Independence Blue Cross Announces Early Extension of Dependent Care Coverage

Philadelphia, PA - April 23, 2010 - Beginning June 1, Independence Blue Cross will extend health insurance coverage for young adults up to age 26 who are currently covered by their parents' individual or employer-sponsored health plans.

One provision of the recently enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act makes coverage available to adult children up to age 26, on the renewal date of their policy beginning on or after September 23, 2010. By allowing these young adults to remain on their parents' plans starting June 1, IBC is helping families avoid a potential gap in coverage until the new federal healthcare reform provision takes effect.

"We understand that parents are worried about their young adult children losing health care coverage. That's why we are following the spirit of the healthcare reform law and working with our customers to allow young adults to remain on their parents' plans until the dependent coverage requirement of the new law takes effect," said Joseph A. Frick, IBC president and CEO.

"For more than 70 years, Independence Blue Cross has focused our efforts on the health and well-being of our customers and the community," continued Frick. "We will continue to work closely with all of our stakeholders in health care as we prepare for the changes that healthcare reform will bring."

While the new reform law does not require making coverage available to adult children up to age 26 before September 23, 2010, IBC and the 38 other Blue plans in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) are choosing to extend health insurance coverage for these young adults beginning June 1.  These Blue plans serve almost 100 million customers. IBC began discussions shortly after healthcare reform became law to determine how to help young people remain covered through their parents' plans, recognizing that unless health insurance coverage was extended earlier for these young adults, many of them could lose their coverage before then, only to be added back on when the provision takes effect.

IBC's extension applies to those dependents under 26 who currently have coverage and who would lose that coverage prior to the effective date of the new law. The extension will become part of IBC's individual policies and will also be available to IBC's fully insured employer groups. IBC is encouraging large employers who self-fund their coverage with IBC to extend coverage to their employees' adult children who would otherwise lose their coverage prior to the effective date of the law.

This step demonstrates IBC's commitment to enhancing and preserving coverage for its 3.3 million members nationwide.

About Independence Blue Cross

Independence Blue Cross 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 is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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 reform.

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