CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The BlueCross BlueShield Association has honored BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee with the Plan Excellence Award for its administration of the Federal Employee Program (FEP) in Tennessee during 2005.

FEP serves all federal employees and retirees who receive their health care benefits through the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP). BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee currently covers 89,821 FEP members statewide.

“BlueCross continues its commitment to the delivery of cost effective and quality health care services for all our members, and we’re honored to be recognized for that effort,” said Jean Harris, vice president of member benefits administration for BlueCross. “But beyond the national recognition, what’s most rewarding for our employees is knowing that FEP members in our state rate us above the national average in customer satisfaction, year after year.”

The Tennessee Plan was one of only 16 Blues plans to receive the award, which was recently presented at the FEP National Conference in Houston, Texas. The honor was given for maintaining high performance in claims and customer service while keeping administrative costs low in 2005. This is the eleventh time the Tennessee Plan has been honored for low-cost and high performance.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee scored 108 on the service profile and 106 on the strategic profile portions of the FEP Plan Incentive Program. Scores of 100 or above designate a Blues plan as an “excellent” performing plan.

The FEP award measures several categories, including member satisfaction, operational performance, benefit costs, and administrative costs.

The BlueCross BlueShield Government-wide Service Benefit Plan, or FEP, has been a part of FEHBP since its inception in 1960. The 38 independent Blue plans and their FEP operations collectively cover 4.6 million, or 55 percent, of the federal employees, retirees and their family members who receive benefits through FEHBP.

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