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Press Release

Independence Blue Cross Launches Healthy Steps Program

The new social media initiative kicks off with a focus on healthy eating

Philadelphia, PA - December 14, 2010 - Independence Blue Cross (IBC) announces the launch of its Healthy Steps social media initiative today. The multi-phase program is designed to help individuals take small but important steps to leading healthier lives. Phase one focuses on healthy eating and cooking easy, nutritious meals.

"Anyone who has ever tried to lose weight or stick to a nutritious diet knows it's not easy," states Kimberly Siejak, manager, clinical services, IBC. "We provide our members six nutritional counseling visits per year with no copay, and we hope the Healthy Steps campaign will raise awareness of and encourage members to take advantage of this valuable wellness benefit."

The hub of the Healthy Steps program is a new tab on the IBC Facebook page, featuring nutrition tips, simple recipes and expert advice for making healthier decisions at mealtime. To launch Healthy Steps, IBC partnered with local celebrity chef and dietitian Katie Cavuto Boyle, MS, RD, a former finalist on "The Next Food Network Star" and nutritional consultant to the NL champion Philadelphia Phillies. Cavuto Boyle also inspires healthier lifestyles with her own market and café, Healthy Bites, which offers local seasonal foods along with classes and nutritional services. Those who "Like" the IBC Facebook page will be able to view videos of Cavuto Boyle cooking several of her favorite meals.

"Katie helps make healthy eating easy and attainable for everyone, regardless of their skill level in the kitchen or the amount of time they have to prepare dinner," states Siejak. "Some of the things she recommends are seasoning vegetables with herbs instead of butter and salt, sticking with suggested serving sizes and keeping your pantry stocked with healthy basics."

Siejak and Cavuto Boyle will appear on NBC's "10! Show" on December 22 at 11 a.m. to share key information about the Healthy Steps initiative and cook chicken with roasted peppers and artichoke hearts over couscous.

Those who "Like" the IBC Facebook page will be able to view videos of Cavuto Boyle cooking several of her favorite meals and are also invited to enter the Healthy Steps sweepstakes for a chance to win a private in-home cooking class with Cavuto Boyle. Groceries for five to six meals are included. IBC will post additional health and wellness content to its Facebook Wall and will encourage fans to share their own tips and advice for eating right.

Upcoming phases of the Healthy Steps campaign include a focus on fitness and exercise and will offer tips and resources to help members prepare for outdoor spring fitness activities, such as National Walk @ Lunch Day on April 27 and the Blue Cross Broad Street Run on May 1.

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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