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BLUE CROSS OF WESTERN PA & PA BLUE SHIELD HEARING TO BE HELD

 BLUE CROSS OF WESTERN PA & PA BLUE SHIELD HEARING TO BE HELD
 HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The state Insurance Department will hold a public hearing Thursday evening in Pittsburgh on Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Blue Shield's requested benefit and rate revisions to individual insurance products for people under age 65.
 The hearing will begin at 7 p.m. at the Westin William Penn Hotel, Three Rivers Room, 530 William Penn Place.
 "This hearing gives the public the opportunity to learn about the proposed changes," said Acting Insurance Commissioner Cynthia Maleski. "I encourage concerned consumers to attend and express their opinions on the Blue Cross proposal."
 Blue Cross and Blue Shield have proposed changes in three of their insurance products for persons under the age of 65 who do not have group insurance through their employer -- basic hospitalization insurance, basic major medical coverage, and comprehensive major medical coverage.
 Blue Cross and Blue Shield propose to combine the current basic hospitalization product with basic major medical. The new product would increase copayments, substantially reduce prescription drug coverage and include out-patient and therapy services.
 The companies also proposed adding a product -- Complete Care II -- that would use age rating and would include limited prescription drug coverage. Age rating means that you pay more as you grow older. The product would not provide drug and alcohol abuse benefits.
 Under the Blue Cross and Blue Shield proposal, subscribers to the current basic hospitalization plan would have to choose between the revised new hospitalization plan and the new Complete Care II product.
 At the hearing, the public will be invited to comment on the filings following statements by Insurance Department and Blue Cross and Blue Shield officials.
 Public comments will be limited to 10 minutes to allow everyone an opportunity to speak. Following public testimony, the department will review and question the technical aspects of the filing with companies' officials.
 Copies of the filings are available for inspection from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Insurance Department's offices in Harrisburg, Erie and Pittsburgh.
 Written comments may be sent by Oct. 9 to BCWPA Rate Hearing, Attention Bharat Patel, Insurance Department, Bureau of Accident and Health Insurance, 1311 Strawberry Square, Harrisburg, PA 17120.
 The proposed changes would affect subscribers in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Blair, Butler, Cambria, Cameron, Centre, Clarion, Clearfield, Crawford, Elk, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Huntingdon, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, McKean, Mercer, Potter, Somerset, Venango, Warren, Washington, and Westmoreland counties.
 -0- 9/28/92
 /CONTACT: Amy Dugan or Leslie Osborn of Commonwealth News Bureau, 717-787-3289/ CO: ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA SU:


JT -- PG010 -- 4113 09/28/92 17:10 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 28, 1992
Words:445
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