CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Regardless of the continent, country or time zone, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee can now offer active employees of international corporations the same benefit of health care coverage received by BlueCross members traveling abroad.

The new BlueWorldwide Expat SM, is a medical coverage policy for U.S. based companies and their employees who live and work outside the United States. It was developed in conjunction with the 41 Blue Plans to enhance their ability to meet the unique needs of multinational accounts.

“Health care is a top concern of U.S. workers especially those on long-term assignments outside the United States,” said Joan Harp, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for BlueCross. “Navigating the various health care systems in foreign countries can be confusing and intimidating. However, through the Expat program, we can help employers give their overseas employees the peace of mind that comes with BlueCross coverage.”

According to the BlueCross BlueShield Association, the number of expatriates of U.S. multinational corporations is expected to grow to nearly 600,000 individuals by 2004. These companies and their growing employee ranks face many challenges, especially in the health care arena.

“The globalization of the marketplace creates numerous barriers for businesses. Health care benefits for valued employees shouldn’t be one of them,” said Janet Adams, director of administration and process improvement for BlueCross. “Expat coverage can be customized to any size account and its simplified features such as 24-hour medical assistance make it a great asset.”

Services available through Expat include translation assistance, medical treatment and nursing care, fast emergency aid, medical evacuation services, currency conversion, and simplified claims processing.

Information on Expat coverage can be obtained by calling Jim Gray, vice president of sales and account management for BlueCross, at (615) 386-8519.

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.