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Independence Blue Cross Announces 'No Pay Getaway' Promotion Designed to Encourage Healthy Behaviors
Date:10/10/2007

Eligible Members Can Win a Maui Getaway and Hundreds of Other Prizes Just

for Doing Something Healthy

PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- To encourage members in a non-traditional way to improve their well-being, the region's leading health insurer, Independence Blue Cross, announces No Pay Getaway, an innovative Healthy Lifestyles(SM) initiative that will promote active steps toward better health.

No Pay Getaway invites eligible members who get a flu shot, or enroll in a weight loss or smoking cessation program before December 31, 2007, to go to http://www.ibx.com to enter to win a No Pay Getaway to Maui, Hawaii for two; one of three No Pay Getaway weekends in Philadelphia; and hundreds of other rewards, including free admission to local sporting events, cultural attractions and family entertainment.

"We wanted to give our members a 'jump start' on the road to healthier lifestyles, and we thought this was a fun, unusual way to encourage them to take care of themselves," said Esther J. Nash, M.D., senior medical director at Independence Blue Cross. "If you take steps to stay well and avoid getting sick, you enjoy a healthier life and reduce health care costs too. No Pay Getaway is just the beginning of everything we're doing to help members feel great in '08."

IBC included flu shots, weight management, and quitting smoking in No Pay Getaway because influenza, obesity and smoking all cause serious health problems. Each year, seasonal flu costs an estimated $1 billion a year nationally in medical care and missed workdays(1). Overweight and obesity costs employers nationwide more than $12 billion each year in increased use of health care, reduced productivity, and higher absenteeism, research shows(2). And cigarette smoking results in 5.5 million years of potential life lost in the United States annually(3). With these statistics in mind, Independence Blue Cross developed No Pay Getaway to invest in our members' health, helping them focus on behavior changes that drive toward healthier lifestyles.

No Pay Getaway also highlights IBC's commitment to developing innovative products and services to help strengthen the health of our region. Through Healthy Lifestyles, Independence Blue Cross offers our members one of the country's most comprehensive wellness programs, sending members reminders about screenings and immunizations, making health coaches available to our members 24/7, and providing reimbursements to offset the cost of IBC-approved programs for fitness ($150 per year), weight loss (up to $200 per year) and smoking cessation (up to $200).

For more information about No Pay Getaway and the official rules, visit http://www.ibx.com. Not eligible for No Pay Getaway are Medicare members, Federal Employees Benefit Health Plan members and anyone who was not an IBC member on October 9, 2007. No participation or purchase is necessary to enter No Pay Getaway.

(1) http://www.usatoday.com/money/workplace/2004-01-05-flu_x.htm

(2) National Medical Spending Attributable to Overweight and Obesity: How

Much and Who's Paying? Health Affairs, Web Exclusive

(3) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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 3.4 million people. For nearly 70 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals.

In 2006, Independence Blue Cross was nationally recognized by the Disease Management Association of America for Connections(SM), its outstanding program that improves the health and well-being of people with chronic illnesses. Independence Blue Cross's HMO and PPO health care plans have consistently received the highest ratings from the National Committee for Quality Assurance.


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SOURCE Independence Blue Cross
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