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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Selects The Bancorp Bank to Provide Health Savings Accounts; Insurer's High-Deductible Policy and Bank's HSA Create Seamless Solution for Members.

WILMINGTON, Del. -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has selected The Bancorp Bank ("Bancorp"), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Bancorp, Inc. (Nasdaq NM:TBBK), as its preferred provider of Health Savings Accounts (HSA) for its BlueSaver low-cost, high-deductible health insurance plan.

"Our corporate mission is to provide Louisiana citizens with access to quality, cost-effective health care," said Mike Reitz, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Blue Cross. "The combination of BlueSaver and Bancorp's integrated HSA provides us with a very effective vehicle for fulfilling this mission."

"We are delighted about our new collaboration with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana," said Jill Kelly, Senior Vice President of The Bancorp Bank. "The seamless implementation of the Bancorp's HSA solution within the BlueSaver plan benefits members who demand both quality and cost-effective health care."

BlueSaver has become Blue Cross' hottest-selling individual product since its introduction in September 2004, eclipsing the previous top seller, Blue Max. As of April 30, 2005, more than 85,000 members held group and individual BlueSaver policies, representing 16 percent of the company's eligible membership.

Because HSA-qualified plans are generally affordable even for smaller businesses, plans like Blue Cross' BlueSaver offer employers another option for providing health care coverage to their workers. HSAs are usually more affordable for individual policyholders as well. "By switching from low-deductible co-payment plans to BlueSaver, individuals have reduced their premiums between 30 and 50 percent," Reitz said.

As health care costs continue to rise, plans like BlueSaver give both employers and workers tools to manage their own costs and the flexibility to make choices that affect the cost of care. "BlueSaver in combination with an HSA shifts control of their health care costs back to the consumer," Reitz said. "The rising cost of health care is driven by a number of factors, but we believe that working together, consumers, health insurers, providers and the government can keep health care affordable. HSA-qualified health plans are a step in the right direction."

The Bancorp Bank has been offering HSA solutions to institutional customers since the beginning of 2004. "We have designed a solution that includes all the necessary components of a successful product offering, including a VISA branded debit card, check writing capabilities, online account access, an interest-bearing account, investment options and several online tools for the consumer to use when funding and managing his or her account," Kelly said.

Once an HSA plan is set up and participants are enrolled, the Bancorp provides support to plan administrators and participants via easy-to-use online tools that allow for efficient and seamless management of their plans. Individuals with HSAs have full online access to their accounts and to HSA-specific customer support by e-mail or telephone anytime, anywhere.

Please contact Jill Kelly at 302-385-5012 or e-mail HSAinfo@thebancorp.com to learn more about the Bancorp's HSA solutions. For information on the HSA-compatible BlueSaver policy for groups or individuals, contact your Blue Cross agent or visit the company's website at www.bcbsla.com.

Health Savings Account Overview

HSAs are IRA-like savings accounts that allow individuals to set aside tax-deferred money for select medical expenses, such as prescription and nonprescription drugs, insurance deductibles and copayments, eyeglasses and other medical costs not covered by their insurance policies. IRS rules require that HSAs be linked to low-cost, high-deductible health insurance policies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana's BlueSaver plan.

HSAs allow the taxpayer to set aside up to $2,600 per year for an individual and $5,150 for a family. The money can be withdrawn tax-free for medical expenses, and any surplus not used by year's end can be carried into the following year. Unused funds can even be used after retirement to pay for long-term care insurance and other select medical expenses.

About The Bancorp Bank

The Bancorp Bank ("Bancorp"), a wholly owned subsidiary of The Bancorp, Inc., is an FDIC insured commercial bank that delivers a full array of financial services and products through private-label affinity partner programs nationwide. Bancorp, through Philadelphia Private Bank (www.philadelphiaprivatebank.com), its regional community bank division, serves the needs of small and mid-size businesses and their principals in the Philadelphia-Wilmington region.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is Louisiana-owned and -operated. Marking its 71st anniversary this year, the company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. It is a tax-paying mutual company, owned by its policyholders. The company is taking a leadership role in keeping health care affordable through its award-winning educational campaign, "Seeking Solutions. Together." For more information or a copy of the brochure Understanding Health Care Costs, visit the company's website at www.bcbsla.com.

Headquartered in Baton Rouge, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana also has district offices in Alexandria, Houma, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, New Orleans and Shreveport. The company's subsidiaries include HMO Louisiana, Inc. and Southern National Life Insurance Company, Inc.
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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 26, 2005
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