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INDEPENDENCE BLUE CROSS AND PENNSYLVANIA BLUE SHIELD BRING 300 JOBS TO PHILADELPHIA

 INDEPENDENCE BLUE CROSS AND PENNSYLVANIA BLUE SHIELD
 BRING 300 JOBS TO PHILADELPHIA
 PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Independence Blue Cross and Pennsylvania Blue Shield announced today that Keystone Health Plan East (KHPE), their health maintenance organization (HMO) subsidiary, has established its corporate headquarters with 300 employees at the Independence Blue Cross building in Philadelphia.
 Philadelphia Mayor Edward G. Rendell cut a ceremonial ribbon today, at Independence Blue Cross headquarters, welcoming KHPE to the city. "We need other people to stand up and make a commitment to Philadelphia. Historically, Blue Cross and Blue Shield have had a tremendous dedication to our city, which is being demonstrated again today," Rendell said.
 "We are proud to make this commitment to the city of Philadelphia," said G. Fred DiBona Jr., president and chief executive officer, Independence Blue Cross. "The consolidation of Keystone in this building will enhance the growth of Center City and foster a stronger, more efficient relationship between the parent company and our subsidiary."
 KHPE is the second largest HMO in the Philadelphia region, providing health care coverage to more than 300,000 members. Independence Blue Cross is the region's largest health care insurer with more than 2 million total subscribers.
 The 300 employees of KHPE will generate in excess of $400,000 in city wage taxes. The city's economy will also be enhanced by monies spent on transportation, parking, dining and shopping.
 The new KHPE was formed by the July 1991 merger with Delaware Valley HMO and the purchase of Vista HMO. KHPE had continued to operate the three offices until this consolidating move to the Independence Blue Cross building, 1901 Market St., Philadelphia.
 "In a short period of time, the expanded Keystone Health Plan East has become even more competitive and profitable," said Allen F. Wise, president and chief executive officer, KHPE. "We believe that our goal of providing affordable health care in the Philadelphia metropolitan area is not only being met on a daily basis, but will also be a major contributing factor to economic health of the city and the region."
 "This is a culmination of several years of intense planning," said Samuel D. Ross Jr., president and chief executive officer, Pennsylvania Blue Shield. "The consolidation of Blue Cross and Blue Shield HMOs and the subsequent relocation of Keystone to the city was one of Fred DiBona's and my top priorities. It has been our goal to bring Blue Cross and Blue Shield closer together and, ultimately, provide better managed care services to our customers."
 /delval/
 -0- 1/8/92
 /CONTACT: Jim Panyard of Independence Blue Cross, 215-241-3101/ CO: Independence Blue Cross; Pennsylvania Blue Shield; Keystone Health
 Plan East ST: Pennsylvania IN: HEA INS SU:


CC-MK -- PH022 -- 7821 01/08/92 13:07 EST
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Date:Jan 8, 1992
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