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Press Release

Independence Blue Cross Hosts Free Health Fair on National Senior Health and Fitness Day

Region's leading health insurer is also the longest running sponsor of the annual Senior Games

Philadelphia, PA - May 26, 2010 - Independence Blue Cross sponsored its second annual free health fair for area seniors today in celebration of National Senior Health and Fitness Day and Older Americans Month. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., seniors stopped by the Independence Blue Cross courtyard outside of the G. Fred DiBona, Jr. building at 1901 Market Street in Center City Philadelphia, participated in free activities, and received a variety of free health information and the latest on community resources.

Seniors were able to take advantage of a number of free activities, including blood pressure screenings, a variety of fitness and dance demonstrations with SilverSneakers® and the Philadelphia Senior Center, chair massages, giveaways, and raffles. Participants also enjoyed refreshments and music from the Sounds of Independence Chorus.

"It's great to see our older members and the community come out and have a good time while learning more about the importance of fitness and healthy living," said Stephen Fera, vice president of Government Programs at IBC. "Active lifestyles are important to all ages, and there are so many valuable resources out there for people to take advantage of in an effort to improve their health and well-being."

IBC has supported a number of initiatives over the years to help its Medicare beneficiaries be healthier. As the largest provider of health care coverage for seniors in this region - currently serving more than 170,000 seniors - the insurer continues to demonstrate its commitment to this growing market and the importance of staying active at all ages.

Studies show that people who are frail or have diseases that accompany aging can benefit through regular exercise and improve their health. Increasing strength and endurance makes it easier to climb stairs and carry groceries, and improving balance helps to prevent falls. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report falls as a leading cause of unintentional injury and death in people aged 65 years and older.

Jean Goodman, a senior from Huntingdon Valley who will attend today's event, is a type 2 diabetic and knows the importance of good nutrition and exercise. "My health is very important to me," she said. "I have learned the great benefits of staying active. I enjoy walking as much as I can and eating healthy. This is a valuable event for the senior community because of its focus on health and fitness and the number of useful resources that are available."

IBC is also the longest running sponsor of the Senior Games, a series of events in the five-county Philadelphia region that encourage physical and mental fitness among seniors through sports, games, and competitions. Since the inception of the Games in 1982, IBC has been an active supporter in each of the five counties. The events throughout the Philadelphia region attract more than 2,000 participants.

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.

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