Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin: Announces New Products To Help Small Businesses Provide Flexible health Insurance Options to Their Employees

For Immediate Release

MILWAUKEE, Wis. – To help small businesses provide affordable,
quality health insurance to their employees, Blue Cross Blue Shield
of Wisconsin (BCBSWi) announced today the launch of Business
Options, a new health insurance product line that gives small
businesses the ability to better manage and control their benefit
costs, while providing employees with a wide array of health plans.

Business Options allows employers to offer more than just a single
insurance plan to their employees.
Small business owners can offer up to eight unique plan options,
including HMO, PPO and POS plans. Employers can also include up to
six Health Savings Account (HSA) plan options in their benefits
package. Employees are free to choose the health care coverage that
best fits their specific needs and budget.

“Our new plan delivers what others have only promised,” said Penny
Siewert, BCBSWi’s general manager of individual and small group
accounts. “Business Options lets us provide flexible and affordable
health care options to provide small group employers and employers
who were previously unable to offer insurance benefits. With
Business Options, an employer can offer its employees a wide array
of plans to choose from, and experience financial predictability by
establishing a fixed dollar contribution level, a minimum of $100,
per employee, per month.”

In addition, a new benefit offered through BCBSWi’s Business Options
is a $5 million lifetime maximum on all plans. Employees can also
take advantage of BCBSWi’s health and wellness program,
LifestyleBlueSM; an online EAP program; and MedCall, a 24-hour
registered nurse telephone service.

Business Options became available October 1, 2004, with an effective
date of January 1, 2005.

For more information on BCBSWi’s Business Options portfolio, small
group employers should contact their health insurance agent or
broker, or call 1-877- 861-3666. Consumers can also obtain
information via the Internet by visiting

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin serves more than 766,000 medical
members and is the state’s largest health insurer. Headquartered in
Milwaukee, the company offers a flexible product portfolio with a
broad range of options for small, medium and large groups, as well
as individual plans for people without access to group coverage.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin is an operating subsidiary of
WellPoint Health Networks Inc., the nation’s second largest publicly
traded health care company, serving the health care needs of 15.5
million medical members and 46.2 million specialty members
nationally. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin can be found on the
web at
Blue Cross Blue Shield of
Wisconsin is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue
Shield Association.