CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee paid $93.4 million in taxes during 2002, setting a company record for the state’s leading health insurer.

Fifty-eight percent of that bill or $54.8 million was paid directly to the State of Tennessee and various local governments.

“We take our social responsibility seriously, and part of that duty is to pay our share of taxes,” said David Deal, senior vice president and chief financial officer for BlueCross. “Many people assume our not-for-profit status exempts us from paying taxes, but we pay the same types of taxes paid by our for-profit competitors.”

The 2002 tax bill for BlueCross included $1.8 million in property taxes, $5.8 million in sales taxes, $13.2 million in federal and state payroll taxes, $26 million in income tax and $46.6 million in Tennessee state premium tax. These totals represent a $4 million increase over BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s 2001 tax payments.

According to Deal, several factors such as growing plan enrollment have played a part in the increasing tax load for BlueCross.

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.