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Health Net and Bank of America Launch Partnership

Agreement means simplification of the health care experience for consumers,

employers and health care providers.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. and LOS ANGELES, Oct. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank of America and Health Net, Inc., today announced a strategic relationship designed to help employers, employees and health care service providers better manage the rising cost of health care.

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The partnership will provide innovative solutions to help consumers, employers and health care service providers better manage health care costs by combining an extensive provider network with a strong financial institution, with both partners applying user-friendly, web-based health care services support and consumer directed account management tools.

As a first step in this partnership, the parties have agreed to utilize the Consumer Directed Health Care (CDHC) platform provided by Bank of America Benefit Solutions(TM). This platform will enable Health Net members enrolled in a Health Savings Account (HSA) compatible plan to have greater control over their health care spending by pairing affordable health insurance coverage provided by Health Net with a tax-advantaged HSA from Bank of America. For example, these members can choose between the ease of using a Bank of America HSA Visa(R) debit card to pay for their qualified health care expenses, or they can go online and request their health care providers be paid directly from their account using online bill payment. Combined with Health Net's user-friendly wellness and decision support tools, members can make more informed decisions about their health care and control how they spend their health care dollars.

"As a customer solutions company, Health Net strives to meet customer needs and help them solve their problems. We are extremely pleased that Bank of America shares our vision to serve consumers when they make their health care decisions," said Kathleen Richard, Enterprise Officer of Health Net. "Health Net and Bank of America understand the complexity, and the rising cost of health care. This partnership will provide an alternative option to employers and individuals who wish to improve their health care experience while curbing their rising medical costs."

HSAs, created by the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act in 2003, provide customers the opportunity to save money and to pay for qualified medical expenses on a tax-advantaged basis. Funds contributed to an HSA belong to customers, are completely portable, and can be invested in a number of different investment vehicles. A portable HSA, such as that provided by Bank of America, provides a long-term consistent account that moves with consumers through all of their life's changes, including a new job, or even retirement.

"We are excited about the opportunity to partner with Health Net to offer their members the chance to both save money and make better financial and health related decisions," said Keith Pellerin, Bank of America Insurance Products Group executive. "Providing members with more power and choice about their health care spending will enable them to become more savvy consumers of the health care system."

About Health Net

Health Net, Inc. is among the nation's largest publicly traded managed health care companies. Its mission is to help people be healthy, secure and comfortable. The company's health plans and government contracts subsidiaries provide health benefits to approximately 6.6 million individuals across the country through group, individual, Medicare, Medicaid and TRICARE and Veterans Affairs programs. Health Net's behavioral health subsidiary, MHN, provides mental health benefits to approximately 7.0 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

About Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk-management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving 57 million consumer and small business relationships with more than 5,700 retail banking offices, more than 17,000 ATMs and award-winning online banking with more than 22 million active users. Bank of America is the No. 1 overall Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in the United States and the No. 1 SBA lender to minority-owned small businesses. The company serves clients in 175 countries and has relationships with 98 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 80 percent of the Fortune Global 500. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

SOURCE Bank of America
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