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Regence Group’s Oregon and Washington Blue Plans Are Well Positioned for Success in Local Medicare Market

July 29, 2008

NASHVILLE, Tenn., July 29 /PRNewswire/ — HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and Regence BlueShield of Washington are well positioned to make a significant play in the Medicare market. According to the new report entitled Blue Profiler: Oregon & Washington — The Regence Group, both plans focus primarily on Medicare PPO offerings, while their competition has traditionally offered HMO and private fee-for-service options.

“Until earlier this year, Regence of Oregon offered a Medicare HMO product, but it is now focusing exclusively on the PPO offering in the Medicare market,” said Ric Gross, market analyst at HealthLeaders-InterStudy and author of the report. “As commercial HMOs in the region are declining, it makes sense that Regence would explore this PPO strategy. Regence is in good position to be a choice for seniors looking for private Medicare products because the structure of its Medicare PPO plans is similar to employee-sponsored coverage they may have previously received.”

According to the report, Regence is now the second largest local Medicare PPO vendor nationwide with more than 85,000 members. The local PPO offers operators flexibility as they do not have to offer the plan to seniors throughout an entire region, but instead, can determine in which counties the option will be available. In Washington, for example, Regence offers the Medicare PPO in 18 counties across the state.

Blue Profiler: Oregon & Washington — The Regence Group examines the company’s operations in both Oregon and Washington. It is one of 15 Blue Profiler reports for 2008 covering the nation’s largest nonprofit Blue Cross Blue Shield plans, which together insure more than 50 million people.

About HMOs and PPOs

A health maintenance organization (HMO) offers a health plan that enables members to utilize services within a group of participating physicians and hospitals. A preferred provider organization (PPO) utilizes a network of providers that the insurer recommends to its members. Members may go outside the network, but such action likely requires paying additional costs.

About Blue Profiler

Blue Profiler offers the most comprehensive analysis of the nonprofit Blue Cross Blue Shield plans. Each report focuses on an individual nonprofit Blue plan and includes valuable analysis that will allow companies to more effectively partner with these dominant organizations. Each report includes information on:

   -- Competitive analysis   -- Enrollment trends   -- Company-wide financials   -- HMO financials   -- Consumer-driven products   -- Medicare strategy   -- Pharmacy   -- Disease Management     About HealthLeaders-InterStudy  

HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a company of Decision Resources, Inc., is the authoritative source for managed care data and analysis. For more information, please visit http://www.healthleaders-interstudy.com/.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

   For more information, contact:    Elizabeth Marshall   Decision Resources   781-296-2563   emarshall@dresources.com  

HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Elizabeth Marshall of Decision Resources, +1-781-296-2563,emarshall@dresources.com

Web site: http://www.healthleaders-interstudy.com/




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