CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The BlueCross BlueShield Association recently presented BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee with the Low Cost/High Performance Award for the Federal Employee Program (FEP) at the 2004 FEP conference in Anaheim, Calif.

FEP serves all federal employees and retirees who receive their health care benefits through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee was one of 15 BlueCross BlueShield Plans to receive the award. The honor was given for maintaining high performance in claims and customer service while keeping administrative costs low in 2003.

“This is the fourth consecutive year that BlueCross has received the award, and the ninth time the Tennessee Plan has been honored,” said Ann Keown, vice president of government programs for BlueCross. “Our ability to manage health care costs effectively and our continued commitment to excellent customer service allow us to receive these repeated recognitions.”

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee was also recognized for scoring above 100 on the Service Profile and Strategic Profile portions of the Plan Incentive Program. By achieving a score of 100 or above, the Tennessee Plan is considered an “excellent” performing plan.

The FEP awards focus on administrative costs, operational performance, benefit costs and member satisfaction, in addition to other categories.

The BlueCross BlueShield Government-wide Service Benefit Plan, or FEP, has been a part of FEHBP since its inception in 1960. The Blues’ FEP covers 4.3 million, or 54 percent, of the 8.5 million federal employees, retirees and their family members who receive benefits through FEHBP. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee currently covers 83,911 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.