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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia Introduces New Generation of Consumer Driven Health Products
Date:10/17/2007

Lumenos suite of products helps consumers manage costs and adopt healthier

lifestyles

RICHMOND, Va., Oct. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia is now offering new health plan options for employers and individuals that will change the way consumers think about health care-helping them to lead healthier lives and gain control over the rising cost of care. These consumer driven health products (CDHPs) and services will be available for large and small businesses, and individuals, effective Jan. 1, 2008.

"Anthem members who choose these consumer-driven products will have better support to help them lead healthier lives," said Tom Byrd, president, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia. "These plans give consumers the decision-making power and control to direct how they want to spend their health care dollars. For physicians, the products help create more informed patients who know what kind of questions to ask. And for employers, these products help engage employees and make them active partners in helping to control the rising cost of health care. More informed consumers can make better health care decisions."

Anthem will offer the following core consumer-driven health products:

* Lumenos(R) Health Reimbursement Account

* Lumenos Health Savings Account

* Lumenos Health Incentive Account

* Lumenos Health Incentive Account Plus

Anthem's CDHP options will combine an employee- and/or employer-funded health account with traditional PPO health coverage. Each is paired with powerful online decision support tools, and personal health coaching, that consumers can use to learn more about their health care treatment and cost options. Extensive preventive care, and smoking cessation and weight management programs are also benefits of the products.

Not only does Anthem's Lumenos suite of products put consumers more in control of their health and their health care dollars, it also offers them an incentive to make better lifestyle choices, spend wisely, and to demand better health care quality and value. In addition, most consumers will receive financial rewards for completing various wellness programs

For example, when members complete an online health assessment, enroll in a program with a health coach, successfully complete a smoking cessation program or make other healthy lifestyle choices, they will receive tangible incentives and rewards under these health plans. These incentives range from $50 for completing a smoking cessation program to $200 for graduating from a personal health coaching program that will enable the consumer to better manage their condition. These unique features, combined with Anthem's network strength, innovative provider partnerships, local presence and powerful brand name will provide unparalleled value to consumers.

"Numerous studies indicate that a significant portion of health care costs are related to personal behaviors, such as smoking, poor nutrition and lack of physical activity. With our Lumenos portfolio of products and services, we're empowering consumers through unique and robust online tools, and incentives that encourage and reward them for choosing to live healthier lifestyles," said Jay Schukman, M.D., medical director, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia.

Early evidence about CDHPs points to increased healthy behaviors by those who have chosen a Health Reimbursement Account, Health Savings Account or Health Incentive Account plan. According to a recent study by Knowledge Networks (August 2007) for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, consumers in these plans were found to be:

* 17 percent more likely to participate in an exercise program than those

enrolled in non-CDHP programs

* 15 percent more likely to participate in a stress management program

* 14 percent more likely to participate in a smoking cessation program

* 29 percent more likely to save for future medical expenses

* 20 percent more likely to track their health care expenses

Additionally, consumers with chronic conditions were 20 percent more likely to follow their treatment regimens. According to Dr. Schukman, this is a powerfully telling figure for both members and their employees - because consumers with these conditions (such as diabetes or high blood pressure) generally have complex, sometimes expensive, health regimens that they must follow. Successfully following these regimens can mean better health outcomes and lower long-term costs.

For more information about Anthem's product offerings, please call 1-800-543-8919 or your local broker.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia is an operating subsidiary of WellPoint Inc., whose mission is to improve the lives of the people it serves and the health of its communities. It is the largest health benefits company in terms of commercial membership in the United States. Through its nationwide networks, the company delivers a number of leading health benefit solutions through a broad portfolio of integrated health care plans and related services, along with a wide range of specialty products such as life and disability insurance benefits, pharmacy benefit management, dental, vision, behavioral health benefit services, as well as long term care insurance and flexible spending accounts. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, it is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare.

For more information on Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia, please visit http://www.anthem.com and choose "Virginia."


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SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Virginia
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