Anthem and WellPoint Complete Merger
New Blue AccessSM Economy Plans and Health Savings Accounts Offered in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio
Indianapolis, Indiana (December 3, 2004) -- To combat rising health care costs and meet the needs of the growing numbers of the uninsured, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield (Anthem) is introducing its new Blue AccessSM Economy plan, designed to provide a solid foundation of basic health coverage, including a range of deductible options, a prescription drug card, and office visit co-payments. The Blue AccessSM Economy plan (PPO) is now being sold to individuals and families in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio. By far the largest provider of individual coverage in the Midwest, Anthem listened to the needs of consumers and designed this plan specifically for individuals who need the security of a health plan at a price they can afford.
As health care costs continue to rise, people are realizing that they need coverage for prescriptions and office visits, while also protecting themselves in case of catastrophic health emergencies. According to research, unexpected medical bills play a major factor in half of the individual bankruptcy filings in America today.1 Some of the most common medical emergencies are: a coronary bypass—cost $54,236, an appendectomy—cost $11,360, a brain MRI—cost $2,218.2 Anthem Blue AccessSM Economy plan offers coverage for these kind of high cost medical procedures for individuals and families. Consumers can also select from a range of deductible choices ($500, $1000, and $1,500) to fit their personal budget.
“When people actually see that affordable health coverage is within their reach, and begin to feel the security that comes with knowing they and their families are protected from financial disaster due to unexpected medical emergencies, they are amazed this kind of coverage is available at such reasonable rates and they have gone so long without it,” said Jude Thompson, Vice President Midwest Individual Business.
In 2003, 87,000 people from the ranks of the uninsured purchased a health plan from Anthem nationwide. In the Midwest, about one-third of new members who purchase Anthem individual coverage under 65 years of age, have no prior health coverage.
“Anthem is trying to let people know that affordable health plans are available, and premiums can be a real bargain compared to the risk of staying uninsured. Consumers are becoming more involved in their health care decisions and are much more aware of costs, thus becoming more prudent purchasers of health services,” said Rolf Provan, Vice President of Consumer Marketing, Anthem Midwest region.
All the privileges that come with being a member of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield: access to one of the largest networks of physicians and providers in the nation, the ability to use BlueCard®, (provides coverage when you travel), and the ability to save money on health-related products and services with on-line tools like SpecialOffers@AnthemSM —are available with Anthem Blue AccessSM Economy plan.
New Deductible Choices for Anthem Blue AccessSMSaver (Health Savings Account)
Anthem is also introducing new, higher deductible choices for its individual Blue AccessSM Saver (PPO), a qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) for a Health Savings Account (HSA). The new, tax-advantaged HSAs provide consumers an alternative method to pay for health care expenses and plan for retirement by giving them more control over their health care dollars. Blue AccessSM Saver is coupled with a JP Morgan Chase custodian account that allows people to use checks and debit cards to pay for qualified medical expenses out of the HSA.
“For people who want to take advantage of the tax-savings associated with Health Savings Accounts, Blue AccessSM Saver (PPO) offers an extraordinary value for individuals and their families,” said Thompson.
Anthem has aligned with JPMorgan Chase, a global leader in the development of electronic payments solutions, to make it easy and convenient to establish and use a Health Savings Account. New, higher limits on deductibles for HSAs also allow individuals to use the funds in his/her HSA to pay for qualified medical expenses until the deductible is reached. Once the deductible is met, the individual’s health expenses are paid according to his/her health plan. The tax-advantaged accounts also permit funds to be “carried over” from year to year even if the employee changes employers. Any interest gained from the HSA also belongs to the individual.
For more information on these new plans, or any other health plan in the wide array of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s portfolio of health solutions, visit www.anthem.com
. or call 1-800-467-8065.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s mission is to improve the health of the people it serves. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is a subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP). WellPoint, Inc. is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through HealthLink and UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is available at www.wellpoint.com