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PENNSYLVANIA BLUE SHIELD, INDEPENDENCE BLUE CROSS ANNOUNCE SHARED AFFILIATE

 CAMP HILL, Pa., Jan. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Pennsylvania Blue Shield and Independence Blue Cross announced today their shared affiliation with Inter-County Hospitalization Plan, Inc. of Horsham, Pa.
 Inter-County, the oldest non-profit health insurer in the state, had been a wholly-owned affiliate of Blue Shield since July 1989. This announcement follows the final regulatory approval on Dec. 31, 1992, of both the Pennsylvania Insurance Department and Pennsylvania Department of Health.
 As part of the affiliation agreement, ownership of Inter-County's wholly-owned health maintenance organization subsidiary, HealthGuard of Lancaster, will be assumed entirely by Blue Shield.
 Inter-County's third-party administration subsidiary, Blair Hill Administrators, will be combined with Independence Blue Cross' American Health Alternatives and will be jointly controlled by both Blue Cross and Pennsylvania Blue Shield.
 "Since its affiliation with us in 1989, Inter-County has earned a reputation as one of the foremost customer service organizations in the Philadelphia area," said Samuel D. Ross, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Camp Hill-based Pennsylvania Blue Shield. "Joining forces in a cooperative effort with Independence Blue Cross will strengthen Inter-County's abilities even more."
 "We see our new affiliation with Inter-County as one that will help ensure that Blue Cross and Blue Shield will remain the most dynamic and responsive health insurers in southeastern Pennsylvania," said G. Fred DiBona, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Philadelphia-based Independence Blue Cross.
 George W. Gannon, Inter-County's president and chief executive officer, said that his company's covered groups and subscribers stand only to benefit by the change in ownership. "We view our new affiliation as a win-win situation for everyone concerned," he said. "Inter-County will continue to operate as an independent organization, but will now have the combined strength of two of the most financially stable insurers in the nation."
 Inter-County Hospitalization Plan markets a complete line of employee benefit coverage, including Comprehensive Major Medical, self- funded and managed care plans to employer groups in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. The Plan employs 170 people at its headquarters in Horsham, Montgomery County.
 Independence Blue Cross is the largest health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania with nearly 2 million subscribers. Pennsylvania Blue Shield, the nation's largest Blue Shield Plan, serves nearly 5.9 million subscribers in its Private Business programs and administers Medicare Part B for beneficiaries in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey and the District of Columbia metropolitan area.
 /delval/
 -0- 1/19/93
 /CONTACT: Brian Herrmann of Pennsylvania Blue Shield, 717-763-3319, or Jim Panyard of Independence Blue Cross, 215-241-3101/


CO: Pennsylvania Blue Shield; Independence Blue Cross; Inter-County
 Hospitalization Plan, Inc. ST: Pennsylvania IN: INS SU:


MK -- PH019 -- 6356 01/19/93 12:37 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 19, 1993
Words:436
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