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BLUE CROSS' CARING FOUNDATION AWARDED CONTRACT FOR THE COMMONWEALTH'S NEW CHILD HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM

 PITTSBURGH, May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Representatives of Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania joined Gov. Robert P. Casey today as the first Western Pennsylvania children enrolled in the state's new Children's Health Insurance Program of Pennsylvania.
 In the Western Pennsylvania region, the program -- called "BlueCHIP of Pennsylvania" -- will be administered by Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Blue Shield through the Western Pennsylvania Caring Foundation, Inc.
 An $8.6 million contract was awarded to the foundation by the commonwealth to administer the new "BlueCHIP" program, which is funded by two cents of the current cigarette tax.
 The foundation also operates the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Caring Program for Children, which has provided free health care coverage to more than 20,000 children in Western Pennsylvania since 1985.
 "We at Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Blue Shield commend Gov. Casey for his commitment to the children of the commonwealth," said William M. Lowry, executive vice president, Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania.
 "We share his vision that no one should be without quality health care coverage. That has been the mission of Blue Cross and Blue Shield for more than 50 years. We feel certain this new program will create greater access to the health care system for thousands of children throughout the state."
 Lowry's comments were made today at Mercy Hospital during a special announcement featuring the governor and local children who enrolled in the new "BlueCHIP" program.
 Benefits under the state's program include coverage for: physician visits, up to 90 days of hospitalization, dental, vision and hearing care, immunizations, preventive care and prescriptions (with a $5 copayment).
 The program will provide free coverage for children from families with annual incomes below 185 percent of the federal poverty level ($26,566 for a family of four). Low cost coverage is also available to children from families with incomes below 235 percent of the poverty level ($33,746 for a family of four).
 In Western Pennsylvania, families interested in obtaining more information and an application should call: 1-800-KIDS-105.
 -0- 5/6/93
 /CONTACT: John McDermott of Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania, 412-255-8247/


CO: Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania; Pennsylvania Blue Shield ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA SU:

CD-KC -- PG007 -- 5526 05/06/93 14:03 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 6, 1993
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