CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has won the bid for the state’s CoverKids program, a comprehensive health plan designed for uninsured children 18 years old or younger with household incomes below 250 percent of the federal poverty level.

“We’re very honored to have been selected to run the CoverKids program,” said Ron Harr, senior vice president of government programs at BlueCross. “To be able to help extend coverage to our state’s future workforce and leaders is very meaningful to our company and an important goal for our state.”

Modeled after the benefits received by dependents of state employees, CoverKids will emphasize wellness and prevention, including immunizations, developmental screenings and well-child exams. In lieu of monthly premiums, plan participants will pay a reduced co-pay for services. Children in households above the income limit may buy into the program by paying the monthly premium.

CoverKids is part of the State Children’s Health Insurance Plan (SCHIP), a jointly financed health plan of federal and state governments. Under SCHIP, Tennessee will receive a $3 to $1 match in federal funding. Currently, 49 other states operate under SCHIP.

CoverKids is a risk arrangement for BlueCross, which will share with the state any excesses in premiums above medical claims paid. As more savings are reached, the state will recoup a larger percentage of the total.

Those residents meeting the CoverKids participant criteria can begin enrolling by March 1, 2007. For program eligibility and other details regarding CoverKids, 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.