; Independence Blue Cross Announces New Strategic Relationship With AAA Mid-Atlantic
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Press Release

Independence Blue Cross Announces New Strategic Relationship With AAA Mid-Atlantic

Two Respected Brands Join Forces to Bring Health Plan Coverage to Individuals and Families

May 1, 2012

PHILADELPHIA – Independence Blue Cross (IBC) today announced a ground-breaking new strategic relationship with AAA Mid-Atlantic to offer a broad variety of health plans to individuals and families who are members of AAA Mid-Atlantic and reside in southeastern Pennsylvania. This first-of-its-kind relationship paves the way for IBC to partner with other highly regarded organizations and offer health insurance to consumers in new ways.

AAA Mid-Atlantic and IBC, both respected, well-known brands, have served generations of individuals and families, and are committed to improving the lives of the people they serve, while providing peace of mind and value for members.

Through this new relationship, AAA Mid-Atlantic will offer IBC health plans to their members with an exclusive benefit to no additional cost: health advocacy services. Health advocacy services, which will be provided by Health Advocate, help people pursue better health, lower medical costs, and simplify dealing with the health care system. For example, a person facing a serious condition who wants help finding the most qualified physician in network can seek advice from a personal health advisor, who is backed by other clinicians and experts.

"We are eager to extend the value of our most popular individual health plans to AAA Mid-Atlantic members," said Daniel J. Hilferty, IBC president and CEO. "Independence Blue Cross is the first commercial health plan company to offer individual health coverage exclusively for AAA members. We are proud of this innovative relationship, as we drive toward new and better ways to help people stay healthy and successfully navigate the sometimes complex health care system."

The health insurance landscape is changing dramatically, Hilferty said, as more and more consumers are buying their own health coverage. IBC is focused on simplifying the health insurance buying process for people who have never purchased health plans on their own before, he said, noting that IBC's new relationship with AAA will help its members, who are accustomed to getting quality products and services through AAA, select top quality health insurance through IBC with the additional peace of mind of AAA's endorsement.

"We are pleased to enter into a strategic relationship with IBC to expand our growing list of health care products and services for AAA members," said Andy Zalescik, vice president, financial services, AAA Mid-Atlantic. "Our members demand exceptionally high levels of service, value in the form of an exclusive AAA benefit, and guidance from top tier providers such as IBC and Health Advocate due to the ever increasing complexities of health care decisions. Now AAA is helping them get the health coverage they need, for wherever life takes them."

This new strategic relationship includes collaborative marketing initiatives between AAA and IBC in electronic, print, direct mail, and in-store via the 11 AAA retail locations in the five-county Philadelphia area. It also will include joint sponsorship of community health fairs and member events.

Exclusively for AAA Mid-Atlantic members who reside in the Philadelphia five-county area, IBC's individual health plans -- including a complete suite of 13 medically underwritten HMO and PPO plans -- offer services through Health Advocate that help individuals and families pursue better health outcomes, lower medical costs, relieve stress, and improve well-being.

"We are excited to deepen our working relationships with Independence Blue Cross and AAA Mid-Atlantic," said Michael J. Cardillo, Health Advocate president, CEO, and cofounder. "Earlier this year we announced we would be providing health advocacy support to IBC associates and their families, and now we are excited to offer a special level of services as part of the individual health plans from IBC for AAA Mid-Atlantic members."

There is growing demand for health advocacy services among health care consumers who don't have traditional employer-based coverage, and therefore, do not have a plan administrator at the workplace to help them through challenges they may encounter. Enhancing peace of mind, Health Advocate services are included at no additional cost to AAA members that purchase IBC's medically underwritten individual and family plans.

Because different people choose different levels of benefits and pricing, IBC's plan options include various copay and deductible designs. In addition, all plans have unlimited lifetime maximum coverage. IBC's plans include:        

          --  office visits and $0 preventive care

          --  hospital, ER, and urgent care

          --  X-rays, lab work, and prescription drug and vision coverage

About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. Nationwide, Independence Blue Cross and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.1 million people. For 74 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit us at ibx.com. Fan us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @ibx.

AAA Mid-Atlantic
AAA Mid-Atlantic serves nearly 700,000 members in the Philadelphia (5-county) region and nearly four million members in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, with personal insurance, financial, automotive and travel services through 58 retail branches, regional operations centers and the internet, at AAA.com.

Health Advocate
Health Advocate(TM), Inc., the nation's leading independent healthcare advocacy and assistance company, headquartered in suburban Philadelphia, serves 25+ million Americans through more than 8,200 client relationships, helping members personally navigate healthcare and insurance-related issues, saving time and money.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 38 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for 100 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for nearly 100 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.