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CareFirst Joins Partnership of Blues Plans as Owner of NASCO
Date:8/5/2009

Increases in Efficiency and Claims Processing Cost-Savings Expected

Baltimore, MD and Atlanta, GA (Vocus) August 5, 2009 -- CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (CareFirst) today announced that it has received the required regulatory approvals for its investment as a full partner in National Account Service Company LLC (NASCO), joining the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, Horizon Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey and WellPoint, Inc.

"One of the reasons we are interested in furthering our relationship with NASCO is the existing partnership of Blues plans," stated Chet Burrell, President and CEO of CareFirst. "It is through this unique, strategic partnership that we believe CareFirst can increase the efficiency of our claims processing function."

As part of its ownership, CareFirst has a seat on the NASCO Executive Committee, which serves as the governance board of the company. Burrell will serve as CareFirst's representative on the committee.

Beginning in July 2008, CareFirst has been consolidating its large group claims processing to the NASCO system. Once complete, NASCO will handle about 50 percent of CareFirst's overall membership. Large groups are defined as having 200 or more policyholders under an insurance plan.

"Having a voice at the NASCO table places CareFirst in a position of influence over how best to shape the direction of the company with our partners," said Burrell. "The ability to share technology, as well as intellectual and financial resources through NASCO is a significant advantage in an industry facing considerable change and a necessity to maximize the value of each dollar spent on the delivery of care."

NASCO has been providing health care claims and membership solutions for several Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans for over 20 years,
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