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BLUE CROSS & BLUE SHIELD OF OHIO ISSUES STATEMENT

 CLEVELAND, June 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Kent W. Clapp, president and chief operating officer of Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Ohio, today issued the following statement in response to remarks by leaders of the United Auto Workers and Communications Workers of America.
 Leaders of these unions have said publicly that they oppose a merger of Ohio's three Blue Cross & Blue Shield Plans on grounds that a merger would eliminate competition and that competition among them is beneficial to their members.
 Clapp's statement:
 It is erroneous for the Communication Workers of America or the United Auto Workers to state that competition among the Ohio Blue Cross Plans will result in lower insurance costs for their memberships.
 The fact is, coverage for workers of both Unions is the responsibility of out-of-state Blue Cross Plans that are called within the Blue Cross System "control plans."
 These control plans work with their Blue Cross affiliates in other states following established procedures. Where there is more than one plan in the state, on rare occasions, a control plan may select one plan to operate statewide as was the case on the Ford account, where CMIC was selected by the Michigan Blue Cross Plan. However, neither the Cleveland-based nor Columbus-based Blue Cross Plans were asked for competitive bids.
 In the case of the Communications Workers, the Illinois Blue Cross Plan decided here again to work exclusively with the Cincinnati-based Plan and there was no competitive bidding in Ohio.
 What really happens if a control plan picks a Blue Cross Plan in a state with more than one, the best price may not be achieved.
 Taking Ohio for example, the reason is that selection of the Cincinnati Plan for statewide coverage means advantage hasn't been taken of the larger hospital and physician discounts the Cleveland Blue Cross Plan has in the northern part of the state, where it has more buying power. And, of course, the reverse is true.
 Further, the UAW supports the Hagan Bill, which would duplicate the Canadian System in Ohio. That would eliminate all competition.
 -0- 6/8/93
 /CONTACT: William A. Silverman of William Silverman & Company, 216-696-7750, for Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Ohio/


CO: Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Ohio ST: Ohio IN: HEA SU:

AR -- CL028 -- 4419 06/08/93 16:09 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 8, 1993
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