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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Pioneers 'Total Body' PPO Product

Community Blue Plus(SM) combines preventive dental and vision care with

medical coverage

DETROIT, March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- It's medical coverage, preventive dental care and a vision exam -- all rolled into one product package.

The "package" is Community Blue Plus, a new Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan PPO product for businesses that will launch April 1. Community Blue Plus combines preventive dental and vision care with the company's popular Community Blue PPO medical coverage. It is the first time a PPO health product in Michigan includes preventive dental and vision benefits embedded within the product structure for the non-Medicare market.

Community Blue Plus provides:

-- Medical coverage through BCBSM's Community Blue PPO

-- Annual vision exam

-- Annual dental exam, annual routine dental cleaning and a set (up to

four) of bitewing X-rays each year

There are no member copayments for any of the covered dental services, and just a $5 copay for the vision exam.

"We think Community Blue Plus is a product many businesses are going to find attractive for themselves and their employees," said Rick V. Morrone, BCBSM vice president of subsidiary operations, and president and CEO of DenteMax, the Blues' dental subsidiary. DenteMax administers the Blues' dental products. "This is a total-body approach to health care."

Studies show links from oral disease to heart and pulmonary diseases, diabetes, premature births, pancreatic cancer in men and Alzheimer's disease. Dental and vision specialists can spot early signs of serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. When health problems are detected early, there's a better chance for successful treatment.

A vision or dental exam could uncover the need for additional services. Community Blue Plus members can obtain these additional dental services (such as the filling of a cavity) at discounted rates when they visit a PPO network dentist. They also can receive discounts on additional vision services (such as glasses) from a VSP(R) Vision Care network provider.

In addition to the health rewards provided by Community Blue Plus, administering one plan that combines preventive dental and vision care with medical benefits is a timesaver for benefits managers, Morrone noted.

"They have one single point of contact instead of multiple ones," he said. "It's also a plus for covered employees, with just one card to carry."

Community Blue Plus is an addition to an array of medical and dental products offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan provides or administers health care coverage to more than 4.6 million members and dental coverage to 1.2 million members. It offers a variety of group dental products-Traditional Plus, Community Dental, Exclusive Dental, Traditional Plus Preventive Dental and Blue Dental Choice-administered by DenteMax, an independent wholly-owned subsidiary of BCBSM. Blues' group customers also have access to DenteMax's dental PPO network that provides additional savings for customers. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is a nonprofit corporation and independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit

SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
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