CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - The BlueCross BlueShield Association recently recognized BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee as the top-performing Federal Employee Program (FEP) among 59 Blue Plans.

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee finished 2002 with the highest overall Plan Incentive Program (PIP) score of 110, earning an "excellent" performance rating and the distinction as the number one Blue Plan for FEP administration.

In addition to this top honor, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee was one of eight plans across the country designated as High Performance, Low Cost and will receive the associationís Best of Blue award.

"This is the first time that BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has received the top honor for administering the stateís FEP and the eighth time BlueCross has won the Best of Blue award for exemplary performance and low costs," said Ann Keown, vice president of government programs for BlueCross. "The awards recognize our planís continued commitment to world-class customer service as well as our efforts to provide quality, cost-effective health care."

The FEP awards measure a range of categories with a focus on member satisfaction, operational performance, benefit costs, and administrative costs.

The BlueCross BlueShield Government-wide Service Benefit Plan, also known as FEP, has been part of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) since its inception in 1960. The Bluesí FEP covers 4.2 million of the 9.1 million federal employees, retirees and their family members who receive benefits through FEHBP. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee currently covers 80,720 of these members in Tennessee.

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.