CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The State of Tennessee has selected BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee to provide affordable insurance coverage to the working uninsured as part of the CoverTN program. Two contracts were awarded to BlueCross for its limited benefit plans. The plans should be available for purchase by qualifying small employers statewide in March 2007.

“We are pleased to partner with the State in its efforts to extend coverage to small businesses and their employees,” said Ron Harr, senior vice president of government programs for BlueCross. “Health care costs are a big concern for business in Tennessee and can be especially troubling for small companies who want to provide some fundamental protection for their employees. We feel our InReach plans can help address that concern.”

According to Harr, the health plans are designed as an affordable option for those who otherwise could not afford coverage. The benefit plan is structured with coverage limitations to keep costs affordable. Emphasizing primary care and preventive services, InReach will give uninsured Tennesseans the opportunity to actively engage in their health care, therefore, detouring the likelihood of serious health risks, and in the long run, help manage health care costs.

BlueCross offers two benefit package options. Physician office visits, inpatient and outpatient medical care, emergency services, behavioral health, and pharmacy benefits are all covered by a simple copay in both plans. There are no deductibles or coinsurance liabilities to the member. However, there are also limited benefit caps and no out-of-pocket maximum to protect members from the potential of catastrophic medical bills.

Monthly premiums for both plans will vary depending on age, tobacco use and Body Mass Index, with the average monthly premium somewhere around $150 per individual.

“Health coverage is not a luxury; it’s a necessity,” Harr noted. “Although our health plan are not intended as a replacement for traditional PPO plans and their comprehensive benefits, we feel that these plans can help put basic and affordable health care in reach of many Tennesseans, which has been our corporate mission for the past 61 years.”

For program eligibility and other details regarding InReach and CoverTN, visit www.covertn.gov.

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.