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Safeway Partners With Health Care Insurers on New Medicare Prescription Drug Education Program.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Illinois and Texas, Health Net of Arizona, and UnitedHealth Group to Offer Customer Assistance at Safeway, Dominick's, Tom Thumb, Randalls and Other Stores

PLEASANTON, Calif. -- Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY) announced today a new strategic alliance with four major health care insurers to assist Safeway customers with information about the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. Partners include Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Health Net of Arizona, and UnitedHealth Group. In addition, Safeway and Safeway-owned pharmacies will carry information about the health care insurers' own prescription plans designed especially for the Medicare Part D program.

"We are very proud to have developed a relationship with this group of highly respected insurers. Our customers will greatly benefit from the services and information that they offer," said David Fong, Safeway Senior Vice President, Pharmacy.

Working with the health care insurers to enhance the services available under Medicare Part D, Safeway pharmacies will co-sponsor educational outreach, including one-on-one consultations and health care literature, at most pharmacy locations.

Safeway operates 1,138 in-store pharmacies. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas will provide these services to customers at the company's Tom Thumb and Randalls stores in Texas. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois will provide these services to customers at Dominick's Finer Foods in Chicago and surrounding areas. Customers of Safeway stores in Arizona will receive the services from Health Net of Arizona. UnitedHealth Group will assist customers at stores under all Safeway banners, including those previously mentioned, as well as at the Vons, Pavilions, Genuardi's, Carrs and Pak 'n Save stores.

Due to the large number of prescription drug plan options available to beneficiaries, such guidance is vital to help ensure that they understand the new coverage and are prepared to make an informed decision.

These strategic alliances are designed to better serve Medicare Part D participants and help them understand changes that will become effective January 1, 2007 in their prescription drug coverage.

ABOUT SAFEWAY

Safeway Inc. is a Fortune 50 company and one of the largest food and drug retailers in North America based on sales. The Company operates 1,767 stores in the United States and Canada and had annual sales of $38.4 billion in 2005. The company's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SWY.

ABOUT BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF ILLINOIS

SM Service Mark of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an Association of Independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois refers to HCSC Insurance Services Company, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company. These companies are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and offer or provide services for Medicare Part D products under HCSC Insurance Services Company's contract S5715 with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company (HCSC), is the oldest and largest health insurance company in the state. Currently, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois provide health insurance coverage for more than 6.5 million people.

ABOUT BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD OF TEXAS

SM Service Mark of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an Association of Independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is making Medicare Part D products available through HCSC Insurance Services Company, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company. These companies are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and offer or provide services for Medicare Part D products under HCSC Insurance Services Company's contract S5715 with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is the only statewide, non-investor owned health coverage provider in Texas, serving more than 4 million members in all 254 counties. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company.

ABOUT HEALTH NET OF ARIZONA

Health Net of Arizona, Inc. is a subsidiary of Health Net, Inc. (NYSE:HNT). Health Net, Inc. is among the nation's largest publicly traded managed health care companies and the nation's fifth-largest Medicare Advantage contractor, based on membership. Health Net's mission is to help people be healthy, secure and comfortable. The company's HMO, POS, insured PPO and government contracts subsidiaries provide health benefits to approximately 6.6 million individuals in 27 states and the District of Columbia through group, individual, Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE programs, including 150,000 in Arizona. Health Net, Inc.'s behavioral health subsidiary, MHN, provides mental health benefits to approximately 7.3 million individuals in all 50 states. The company's subsidiaries also offer managed health care products related to prescription drugs, and offer managed health care product coordination for multi-region employers and administrative services for medical groups and self-funded benefits programs. For more information on Health Net, Inc., please visit the company's Web site at www.healthnet.com.

ABOUT UNITEDHEALTH GROUP

UnitedHealth Group (www.unitedhealthgroup.com) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to making health care work better. Headquartered in Minneapolis , Minn., UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through six operating businesses: UnitedHealthcare, Ovations, AmeriChoice, Uniprise, Specialized Care Services and Ingenix. Through its family of businesses, UnitedHealth Group serves approximately 70 million individuals nationwide.
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Date:Nov 22, 2006
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