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METLIFE LAUNCHES NATIONWIDE CHILD HEALTH INITIATIVE PROGRAM; UNIQUE, VALUE-ADDED PLAN TO HELP YOUNG FAMILIES

 METLIFE LAUNCHES NATIONWIDE CHILD HEALTH INITIATIVE PROGRAM;
 UNIQUE, VALUE-ADDED PLAN TO HELP YOUNG FAMILIES
 NEW YORK, March 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Metropolitan Life Insurance Company today announced the inauguration of its new Child Health Initiative(SM) program. Designed for members of its affiliated HMOs, the program provides educational child care information to parents of children through five years of age.
 Shortly before a child's birthday each year, parents who are MetLife HMO members receive one of six age-specific books containing child care information on four main topics: nutrition, safety, development, and parenting. Particular emphasis is given to safety and to timely immunization.
 "In continuing MetLife's long tradition of leadership in its public service commitment to health and safety education, we are particularly proud that our affiliated HMOs are offering this information to young families to promote the optimal health and development of pre-school children," said Robert A. Chernow, senior vice president in charge of the company's managed care services group.
 "The Child Health Initiative program was designed for MetLife HMO members to support our managed care philosophy that the health care industry must change its focus from the treatment of illness, to the promotion of wellness and the prevention of sickness," he added.
 "We feel the program is not only a value-added benefit to MetLife HMO members, but is one more cost-effective asset in our managed care portfolio. If we help to avoid just one serious accident or preventable illness, with the possibility of lifelong consequences, the program will be worthwhile. In fact, saving just one physician office visit over a child's pre-school years pays for the program tenfold," said Chernow.
 "We have no doubt that the education provided by this program will reduce the cost of health care for MetLife HMO members, in addition to averting untold heartache and suffering. We know just how vital adequate care and protection of children is, particularly in this most vulnerable time from birth through five years," he continued.
 Research and planning for the program began in 1987. Throughout development of the program, the books were reviewed by a past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and a team of MetLife staff pediatricians.
 "Our future plans for the Child Health Initiative program are very exciting," Chernow said. "We will be linking our claims history file to the AAP recommended immunization schedule for every child under five years of age in the MetLife HMO plan. When we discover that an immunization has not been recorded at the appropriate age, a reminder will be sent to the child's parents and pediatrician."
 Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and its affiliates have more than $144 billion in assets under management, and insure or administer individual and group life, health, pension, and property and casualty coverage for more than 45 million people around the world.
 -0- 3/31/92
 /CONTACT: Ann Gross of Metropolitan Life Insurance, 212-578-5345/ CO: Metropolitan Life Insurance Company ST: New York IN: INS SU:


SH-TS -- NY001 -- 3218 03/31/92 08:05 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 31, 1992
Words:498
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