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HealthEquity(R) Inc. and Optima Health Inc. to Offer Service-Oriented Health Savings Accounts.

SALT LAKE CITY -- HealthEquity(R) Inc., a leader in complete consumer-driven health coverage solutions, and Optima Health Plan (Optima), offered by Sentara Healthcare, a regional not-for-profit health plan that covers 350,000 lives based in Virginia Beach, Va., announced today that Optima customers will now have access to a new consumer-driven product, including a health savings account (HSA) and high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Optima members will now have more choices to meet their health care needs and recapture control of often spiraling health care coverage costs.

"Optima is an excellent health care company that has been serving the Virginia community for many years. We believe the combination of quality high-deductible health plans offered by Optima and the industry-leading HSA client services offered by HealthEquity will be a great solution for value-conscious health care consumers in Virginia," remarked HealthEquity Chief Executive Officer Stephen Neeleman, M.D.

"Optima is committed to providing our customers with industry leading health insurance solutions. HealthEquity is a recognized leader in the area of consumer-driven health products. Through this partnership, the residents of southeastern and central Virginia will have access to the most advanced HSA products available," said Patrick Caster, vice president of business development for Optima.

HealthEquity and Optima are both recognized as innovative leaders in the health care field, employing the latest technology to serve their clients. HealthEquity has developed proprietary technology to bring their clients the latest in health care information and education. Optima shares the benefits of having a parent company, Sentara Healthcare, that is acknowledged for its technological advancements. Sentara Healthcare was recently awarded the CIO-100 Award from CIO magazine, a leading publication in the information technology industry. This award recognized organizations that exemplify the highest level of operational and strategic excellence in information technology.

The alliance between these well-respected companies will create another affordable, high-quality health care option for the people of southeastern and central Virginia. Health savings accounts are tax-advantaged accounts that are paired with qualified HDHP. These accounts are used to pay day-to-day medical expenses, while the high-deductible plan pays for the costs of major medical events. HealthEquity will provide HSA services for Optima's high-deductible health plans.

Members of this new plan will have access to HealthEquity's industry-leading consumer-driven health care platform, which includes client advisory services, self-diagnostic tools, a 24-hour nurse line, pharmaceutical price comparisons, 24-hour customer service, and out-of-network bill review and negotiation. They will also have access to Optima's top quality care network, including Sentara Healthcare Hospitals, which have ranked in the Modern Healthcare Magazine's top 100 hospitals for the past eight years, ranking third in 2005.

About Optima Health Inc.

Optima Health is a leading provider of health benefits in southeastern and central Virginia. Optima currently serves more than 350,000 members in Virginia. Optima offers a full spectrum of health insurance products including PPO, HMO, POS and various consumer-driven products. First introduced in 1984, Optima Health Plan received the highest level of accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for six consecutive years. It is Virginia's only commercial HMO to maintain NCQA's highest accreditation since 1998. In addition, Optima Health Plan holds the distinction of being the region's first managed health care plan. Call 877-552-7401, contact your health insurance broker or visit our Web site at www.optimahealth.com for more details.

About HealthEquity(R) Inc.

HealthEquity offers a complete solution for businesses and individuals that are seeking a consumer-driven health plan. HealthEquity specializes in offering health care accounts, such as health savings accounts, supplemented with unparalleled health care financial services and client advisory tools. These tools give clients the support they need to navigate the health care system and make wise spending decisions. HealthEquity offers our consumer-driven solution as a stand alone product and as an integrated product through our business partners. HealthEquity manages consumer-driven plans for more than 800 employer groups nationwide.

For more information about HealthEquity, please visit www.HealthEquity.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jan 26, 2006
Words:652
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