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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Fills Gap for Temporarily Uninsured with Fast and Affordable Coverage; SelecTEMP(R)' PPO Short-term Policy is Launched to Address Illinois' Over 1.7 Million Uninsured Residents.

CHICAGO -- The leading insurer in the state, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) has launched an innovative short-term health insurance plan designed for consumers who temporarily need affordable health care coverage. The plan, SelecTEMP(R)' PPO, provides an interim insurance option that targets an important gap in the marketplace -- the more than 1.7 million uninsured residents, including: individuals and families who are waiting for employer coverage to become effective or who want an affordable alternative to COBRA or are unemployed, and recent graduates who no longer qualify for their parents' coverage.

Applying couldn't be easier. A key component of the new temporary policy is the ability to apply online via www.bcbsil.com/temp and become enrolled as soon as the next day, subject to eligibility. Consumers can also take advantage of BCBSIL's vast producer network of over 8,000 licensed agents to secure coverage.

"Our new SelecTEMP PPO enhances our current portfolio by providing affordable and flexible short-term coverage that can be tailored to the diverse needs of the uninsured market," said Fred Karutz, vice president, Consumer Markets, BCBSIL. "Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois recognizes the importance of providing a continuum of health insurance coverage for various stages of life and employment. As the largest insurer in the state with the broadest access, we offer the widest variety of benefits at a competitive price from a brand that people know and trust."

SelecTEMP PPO is designed to be simple, fast and affordable. For example, a male between ages 20-24 with a $1,000 deductible may pay a monthly premium ranging from $40.12-$59.44, depending on where he resides. SelecTEMP PPO can be purchased as family, individual or children-only policies. Eligible consumers can select a coverage period from one to six months, along with the day they want the coverage to begin, with deductibles ranging from $500 to $5,000. All policies are underwritten on an individual basis and rates may vary.

Up to two consecutive SelecTEMP PPO policies can be purchased if qualifications for applying are met. Once the duration of the policy is complete, the consumer can choose a permanent health insurance solution from BCBSIL's comprehensive portfolio of plans. The plans are all backed by the personalized, local and easy-to-access customer service synonymous with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.

The short-term PPO policy offers important benefits such as:

--Inpatient and outpatient hospital and medical/surgical services

--Diagnostic services

--Physical, occupational and speech therapy

--Emergency care

--Office visits

--Prescription drugs

SelecTEMP PPO pays for 80 percent of the plan member's covered expenses once the deductible is met. Plan members pay the remaining 20 percent of expenses until their out-of-pocket costs reach $1,000, at which point SelecTEMP PPO pays for 100 percent of covered services for the length of the policy. Unlike most other carriers' plans, BCBSIL's policy offers a lifetime maximum benefit of $5 million.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield provides plan members with the freedom to choose doctors and hospitals from the largest health care contracting provider network in Illinois. Additionally, SelecTEMP PPO provides access to BCBSIL's BlueCard PPO program. With BlueCard PPO, plan members can receive benefits for covered services from a nationwide network of contracting providers while they travel outside of the state, and can access BCBSIL's exclusive Members First(R)' Discount Program -- which offers added savings on dental, vision, diabetes testing supplies, hearing and chiropractic services, and more.

For more information about the BCBSIL's SelecTEMP PPO, visit www.bcbsil.com/temp or call 800-654-7385.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company (HCSC), is the oldest and largest health insurance company in the state. Currently, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois provides health insurance coverage for more than 6.9 million people. HCSC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Apr 10, 2006
Words:660
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