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CHANGES IN MEDICARE SUPPLEMENTAL COVERAGE TO BE MAPPED OUR AT BLUE CROSS COMMUNITY SEMINARS

 CHANGES IN MEDICARE SUPPLEMENTAL COVERAGE TO BE
 MAPPED OUR AT BLUE CROSS COMMUNITY SEMINARS
 PITTSBURGH, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania (BCWP) has scheduled a series of seminars to explain changes in its over age 65 products resulting from the standardization of Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap).
 Standardization of Medigap products is the result of a federal law, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (OBRA '90), that requires all insurance companies throughout the country to sell Medigap policies with standard benefits. Pennsylvania implemented this law effective July 30 of this year. New customers must be offered the standard plans now and current customers must convert to the new plans by Jan. 1.
 Blue Cross and Blue Shield products affected by the law are 65-Special, 65-Basic and 65-Plus II.
 The informational seminars will be held at several western Pennsylvania locations. Reservations are required only at those sites where phone numbers are listed.
 -- Nov. 7 - 10 a.m. and noon: HealthPLACE, Fifth Avenue Place, downtown Pittsburgh; 412-255-7390;
 -- Nov. 10 - 1 p.m.: Benedictine Center, 4530 Perrysville Ave., Ross Township; 412-931-6051;
 -- Nov. 10 - 2 p.m.: Marine Bank Building (formerly First National Bank Building), sixth floor, 717 State St., Erie, Pa.; registration not required;
 -- Nov. 11 - 10:30 a.m., 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.: Westmoreland HealthPLACE, Westmoreland Mall, Greensburg, Pa.; 412-832-9300;
 -- Nov. 14 - 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.: Washington Mall, Washington, Pa.; registration not required; and
 -- Nov. 17 - 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.: Rosemont Banquet and Conference Center, Sharon, Pa.; registration not required.
 Current Blue Cross customers who are over age 65 have received additional information in the mail and must return their selection forms by Nov. 13.
 Pennsylvania has approved for sale seven of the 10 national Medigap plans. Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania will offer plans A, B and C. The plans include a range of benefits from the basic coverage of Plan A to additional benefits in Plan C. "Our product selection was based on several factors, including the range of benefits and our ability to offer the greatest value at the lowest possible cost. We also considered what best matched our existing products," said Barbara Bridge, product manager, BCWP Consumer Products. The new products will be identified by the name Security 65.
 Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania serves over a quarter of a million people over the age of 65, with an average age of 78. "Blue Cross, unlike many other carriers, accepts all regardless of age and medical condition. This tends to skew our rates. As part of its community service mission, Blue Cross subsidizes this individual product line to make products more affordable," noted Bridge. Over the past six years this subsidy totaled over $100 million.
 In addition to the seminars and mailings, Blue Cross has established audio response toll-free lines for customers to hear taped messages on standardization. For customers with 65-Special only the number is 1-800-992-5229, and customers with 65-Special and 65-Plus should call 1-800-624-7350. A special customer service unit trained in the new standardization requirements is available to customers by calling 1-800-321-0513.
 -0- 11/6/92
 /CONTACT: Diane Wuycheck of Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania, 412-255-7697/ CO: Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA INS SU:


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Date:Nov 6, 1992
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