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New Empire BlueCross BlueShield Prism Plans Offer Better Choice and Affordability for New York Small Group Market
Date:10/17/2007

NEW YORK, Oct. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Empire BlueCross BlueShield today announced the launch of its Empire Prism suite of health plans, a more affordable solution for employers who want to offer their employees a comprehensive health plan without a high premium price. Empire will make this "premium plan without the premium price" available beginning Jan. 1, 2008, pending New York Department of Insurance approval.

Empire Prism plans are designed specifically to meet the needs of small and mid-sized businesses (two to 200 employees) in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York state, seeking to provide their employees with the same broad Empire BlueCross BlueShield coverage that large employers enjoy, but with a price and benefit design tailored to meet their needs.

According to a 2005 report from the Association of Health Insurance Plans, small group policies in New York are among the most expensive in the United States, and more than half of the employed uninsured work for firms with fewer than 25 employees.

"More than two-thirds of New York's employed uninsured adults earn less than $70,000. Our Prism plans were designed with these individuals and companies in mind," said Mark Wagar, president and CEO of Empire BlueCross BlueShield. "Our customers in this segment said they wanted a plan that did not have the high up-front costs associated with many recent offerings, without compromising quality or accessibility to our broad New York and nationwide provider networks. We listened."

Empire Prism plans allow employers the flexibility to choose not to offer high deductibles or coinsurance and preventive services are covered at 100 percent. Additionally, no referrals are required for patients to seek services from network providers. Further attractive advantages of Empire Prism plans include:

- Strong network: By choosing Prism consumers will have access to the

largest New York network as well as the largest network a
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SOURCE Empire BlueCross BlueShield
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