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Press Release

Independence Blue Cross launches new lower-cost, high-value individual health plans

Consumer research shows IBC offers the 'most-preferred' health plan in the Philadelphia region

Philadelphia, PA - November 1, 2011 - Independence Blue Cross(IBC) is pleased to announce today the introduction of two new progressively designed health plans for individuals and families that offer coverage beginning this fall on November 15. New members in southeastern Pennsylvania may now select from a broadened suite of 13 different medically underwritten health plans from IBC, which provides the most preferred health plans in the region, according to a 2011 research study.

"Consumers are asking for more choice, increased flexibility, and greater affordability in their health plans, and they want incentives that encourage proactive steps to stay well," said Daniel J. Hilferty, IBC's president and CEO. "We're offering health plans that respond directly to these needs and we're offering even lower rates than ever before.  We're pleased that our new, lower cost options will bring health insurance within reach for more people."

"We've developed a wide array of individual health plan that balance cost-consciousness with the health services consumers most often use," said Brett Mayfield, vice president of sales for IBC.  Mayfield said the new health plans will be available for sale through brokers and direct from IBC through www.ibx4you.com with coverage beginning November 15, 2011:

  • The Personal Choice® PPO 8000 Deductible plan. Designed for consumers who are generally healthy and want low monthly premiums and low out-of-pocket costs when they see their primary care physicians for check-ups.
  • The Keystone Health Plan East HMO 30 Copay plan. Designed for consumers who are looking for predictable costs for health care services with manageable monthly premiums. 

"Brokers who sell IBC health plans will now have even more competitively priced products to offer their customers," said Mayfield. "Our new Personal Choice® PPO can cost younger individuals as little as $68 per month, the lowest monthly premium for individual coverage we've offered."

"I've been marketing individual health plans for about 30 years, and when it comes to delivering quality products, IBC is in a league of its own," said Sal DiNardo, principal and founder of Custom Benefit Plans, Inc., based in Willow Grove, PA. "Our Individual and self-employed consumers now get to enjoy access to the same level of benefits and services that IBC has historically offered small and larger group markets. IBC continually develops new products that help enhance our ability to accommodate every need and budget, and our customers simply trust the brand. The new PPO plan will be very appealing to young, healthy folks who want to know they've got coverage if they need it, but don't have to pay a high monthly premium for that peace of mind."

IBC's market research shows that IBC's brand loyalty is significantly higher among individual members in the region versus its leading competitor (63 percent versus 47 percent). IBC understands that people's priorities change as life circumstances shift, which guides decisions about what health care coverage an individual needs, Mayfield noted. IBC's suite of individual health plans provides varying levels of cost and coverage, allowing individual customers to choose the option that best meets their unique needs.

All of IBC's individual plans emphasize the use of generic prescription drugs, which helps to lower the cost of health care. IBC encourages the use of lower cost generic substitutes, when available, because generics are therapeutically equivalent to their more expensive brand-name counterparts and save money for health care consumers and in the health care system overall.

IBC's suite of individual products also offers a wide range of health care services and the popular Healthy LifestylesSM incentive programs that reimburse members $150 per year for fitness club fees, $200 for approved smoking cessation programs, and $200 for approved weight loss programs - features that help members strive for optimal wellness, making the most of their health benefits.

IBC's individual plans also offer coverage for preventive care,  x-ray and laboratory services, 24/7 access to a Health Coach, and prescription drug benefits including a money-saving mail order option. Health Coaches provide support for everyday or more serious health concerns and can provide education when consumers are facing medical decisions or deciding among treatment options.

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 3.1 million people. For 73 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. More information about Independence Blue Cross is available at www.ibx.com.

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