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BLUE CROSS & BLUE SHIELD OF OHIO REPORTS RECORD PERFORMANCE

 CLEVELAND, May 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Ohio (BCBSO), the state's oldest and largest health insurer, has achieved the highest level of financial performance in the company's history.
 BCBSO trustees meeting this week in Cleveland learned that earnings have improved for the fifth straight year and reserves for policyholder protection have reached an all-time high.
 For all of 1992, reserves rose 27 percent to a record $213.3 million, net income also rose 27 percent to a high $44.7 million and net revenue (premium earned) rose 6.7 percent from $1.4 billion to $1.5 billion. Those increases are higher than national average for the 72 Blue plans in the country, according to Kent W. Clapp, BCBSO president and chief operating officer.
 Yet, the board received even better news: Financial performance continued to improve through the first quarter of 1993. Reserves set a new record high at $228.1 million with net income up $11 million to $14.8 million over first quarter last year and revenues (net premiums) at $406.2 million at March 31, 1993, up 9.2 percent. All figures are in terms of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
 Over the past five years (1988-92), reserves have more than doubled, BCBSO has been profitable every year, and the company has had the lowest cost of doing business, or administrative expense, among all large health insurers in Ohio, including the other two Blue plans.
 In terms used by for-profit, publicly traded insurers, BCBSO's return on equity (surplus/reserves) would be considered outstanding. Average net income for the five years 1988-92 as a percentage of average reserve balance was 19.2 percent. For 1992 alone, it was 23.4 percent, which would be a superior return for a commercial company.
 As a nonprofit mutual health insurance company, BCBSO is required to pay federal, state and local taxes. In 1992, BCBSO paid $14.1 million in taxes, and over the past five years has paid more than $60 million in taxes to government.
 Also at Tuesday's meeting, Jim Jerele, president of Local 880 of the United Food and Commercial Workers, was newly elected to the BCBSO board of trustees. Current trustees Sandra Brown, J. Richard Kelso and Bradford Roller were elected to new three-year terms on the board. Kent Clapp was elected to a two-year term.
 -0- 5/6/93
 /CONTACT: David Eden of William Silverman & Company, 216-696-7750, for Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Ohio/


CO: Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Ohio ST: Ohio IN: INS SU: ERN

KL -- CL027 -- 5689 05/06/93 17:17 EDT
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Date:May 6, 1993
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