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OREGON'S PACIFIC HEALTH & LIFE INSURANCE CO. TO BE ACQUIRED BY WASHINGTON HEALTH CARE CONTRACTOR

 PORTLAND, Ore., Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Officials today announced the signing of an agreement for the acquisition of Pacific Health & Life Insurance Co., the Bend-based company, by Washington/Alaska Group Services Inc., a subsidiary of Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska(1). The parent company is one of the largest health services carriers in the state of Washington. Approval of the transaction has been requested from the insurance departments of both Oregon and Washington.
 The procurement of the financially strong and growing Pacific Health & Life by one of Washington and Alaska's foremost health services carriers represents a leap forward for both of these stable companies.
 Pacific Health & Life will not change its name and the company's management and employees will retain their current positions. The organization will remain an Oregon-based company and there are no plans to expand Pacific Health & Life's marketing area into the state of Washington.
 Executives anticipate that this new relationship will contribute to the growth of Oregon's third largest indemnity health insurance company. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington/Alaska Group Services, Pacific Health & Life will be able to develop and offer expanded products and services that will better serve Oregonians.
 "Our primary consideration in this arrangement is our customers," said Ted Dicken, Pacific Health & Life Insurance Co. president and chief executive officer. "This change will allow Pacific Health & Life to maintain its independence and personalized service. At the same time, it allows us to offer our customers the enhanced and competitive benefit options that they've been asking for."
 Expanded and new product options currently being considered by Pacific Health & Life include additional managed care programs, such as HMOs and PPOs for groups, and a customized, short-term/temporary health care product with extremely competitive rates for individuals.
 "This is an exciting opportunity for both companies," said Dicken. "And the added competition will only serve to benefit Oregon consumers by offering individuals and groups more choices and options."
 "This is a business venture that will be advantageous to both companies," said Betty Woods, president and chief executive officer of Pacific Health & Life's new parent company. "We anticipate that this acquisition will enhance the competitiveness of each company."
 Pacific Health & Life was established in 1986 as a comprehensive indemnity health insurance provider. Pacific Health & Life offers a wide range of policies to the group and individual markets. Corporate headquarters are located in Bend and regional offices are in Portland, Eugene, Medford, Klamath Falls and Pendleton.
 Washington/Alaska Group Services' parent company is a tax-paying, independent organization licensed as a prepaid health care services contractor in Washington and a hospital and medical services contractor in Alaska. Committed to providing access to affordable health care and benefit programs, Washington/Alaska Group Services is headquartered in Mountlake Terrace, Wash., with regional offices in Wenatchee, Spokane and Anchorage, Alaska.
 (a) A member of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.
 -0- 8/23/93
 /CONTACT: Peter B. Summerville, manager/public affairs, of Washington/Alaska Group Services, 206-670-5630; or Christine Sullivan, 503-345-3092, or Carol O'Neil, 503-220-0901, both of Prideaux Sullivan Pattison Inc., for Washington/Alaska Group Services/


CO: Washington/Alaska Group Services Inc.; Pacific Health & Life ST: Oregon, Washington IN: HEA SU: TNM

JH-AL -- SE003 -- 5048 08/23/93 12:31 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 23, 1993
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