CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, a leader in innovative product design, has developed a new low-cost product to help meet the needs of Tennesseans seeking affordable coverage. The product, SimplyBlue™, is a traditional deductible and coinsurance benefit plan that can be tailored to customers’ needs and budgets.

SimplyBlue, which became effective Aug. 1, offers coverage for basic medical services including well-child care, adult preventive screenings, care received at a doctor’s office, hospital or outpatient facility, and emergency care.

For enhanced benefits, BlueCross is also introducing SimplyBluePlusTM. This plan provides the same benefits as SimplyBlue with the additional features of well care for members age 6 and over, $30 office visit copays for preventive services, two $30 office visit copays per calendar year for illness or injuries, and prescription drug coverage – $15 copay for generic drugs only (limited to $125 per calendar quarter). Brand name drugs are not covered.

Additionally, BlueCross is offering guaranteed issue plans for SimplyBlue, which recent TennCare disenrollees may be eligible to purchase.

Both SimplyBlue and SimplyBluePlus provide in-network coinsurance with an 80/20 percent option or 100 percent choice. Deductibles for in-network care begin at $1,000 for individuals and $2,000 for families. SimplyBlue guaranteed issue plan deductibles begin at $1,500 for individuals and $3,000 for families with 80 percent coinsurance for each deductible level.

"Whether it’s an individual unable to afford other personal health coverage plans or a person not eligible or coming off the roles of TennCare, SimplyBlue gives them a low- cost health insurance choice with benefit designs that are simple to use and understand,” said Linda Andreae, vice president of product performance for BlueCross. “Most importantly is gives them access to needed medical care.”

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a lack of health insurance adversely affects the physical and financial well-being of individuals and families. Results from a 2003 survey show that nationally over a third of uninsured adults forewent needed medical care and approximately half of uninsureds postponed seeking care. The survey also revealed that more than a third of those without insurance have serious problems paying for medical care, with nearly one quarter forced to deal with collection agencies for unpaid medical bills.

“SimplyBlue is a practical low-cost insurance option that can protect you and your family from the cost of unexpected illness or injury,” Andreae said. “It’s another choice in our extensive line of products that help provide peace of mind to Tennesseans.”

SimplyBlue and SimplyBluePlus use Network S, which includes medical centers and providers throughout the state. However, members in some areas may have to travel greater distances to receive in-network care. A list of current Blue Network S providers can be found at www.bcbst.com.

To inquire about available coverage or eligibility for SimplyBlue plans, call 1-888-416-3026 or visit www.bcbst.com.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.