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BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF ILLINOIS EARNS 'AA' RATING FROM STANDARD AND POOR'S INSURANCE RATING SERVICE

 BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF ILLINOIS EARNS 'AA' RATING
 FROM STANDARD AND POOR'S INSURANCE RATING SERVICE
 CHICAGO, July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Standard & Poor's Insurance Rating Service has assigned a rating of "AA" to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.
 "This 'AA' rating sends a message to our subscribers that we are in excellent financial health and that we provide top quality service," Sherman M. Wolff, senior vice president of finance for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, said today. "It is a major endorsement of our business practices, investment strategies and ability to pay claims."
 S&P saialth insurers are under fire for risky investments, S&P said Illinois Blue Cross was financially strong because of its conservative investment protfolio and sound management.
 In fact, no other health insurer has received a higher than "AA" rating from S&P for claims paying ability.
 "We are thriving because of our excellent service and our managed care programs which contain costs and provide top-flight service to our subscribers," said Wolff.
 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois also issued the following statement today:
 "Recent media reports have focused on allegations that Blue Cross and Blue Shield organizations are experiencing financial problems.
 "Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is financially one of the strongest of the 73 Blue Cross operations nationwide.
 "The company has $476 million in reserves, which far surpasses the Illinois Department of Insurance guidelines for financial solvency and lies within standard industry norms of secure protection of policyholders. We are thriving because of sound management, a prudent and conservative investment portfolio, and excellent service."
 -0- 7/21/92
 /CONTACT: Dennis Culloton, 312-938-6151, for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois/ CO: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois ST: Illinois IN: INS SU: RTG


GK -- NY081 -- 1405 07/21/92 13:47 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 21, 1992
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