2000 Finances, Business Initiatives Give Capital Blue Cross Healthy Start in the 21st Century

Apr 10, 2001, 01:00 ET from Capital Blue Cross

    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Capital Blue Cross (CBC) entered
 the 21st century with a healthy 2000, experiencing another year of financial
 growth and success from its business initiatives.
     "We began the year by successfully meeting Y2K head on and then carried
 that ethic of hard work right through 2000, making CBC an even better health
 insurer for its members," said James M. Mead, president and CEO.
     One of CBC's biggest strengths has been its financial and operational
 stability, and 2000 proved to be no different.  The company experienced its
 10th consecutive year of a positive bottom line, adding $34 million of net
 income to its unallocated reserves, bringing the total to $587 million.  The
 funds in reserve serve as a savings account and safety net, protecting the
 company and its members from unexpected fluctuations in ever-increasing claims
 expense.
     Capital Blue Cross generated a total of $1.3 billion in underwriting
 revenue, which represents a 9 percent increase over 1999.
     Due in part to the high cost of prescription drugs, an upward trend in
 utilization and costly new medical technology, the company saw underwriting
 losses of $17.6 million.  However, those losses are down $9.6 million from
 1999.
     Capital Blue Cross increased its market share and market leadership
 position by continuing to offer quality and value through a variety of Blue
 products -- HealthOne(SM) (point of service), CustomBlue(R) (preferred
 provider organization), traditional BasicBlue(R) products and Keystone Health
 Plan(R) Central.  The company's wholly owned subsidiaries, Capital Advantage
 Insurance Co., Consolidated Benefits, Inc. and NCAS Pennsylvania, all exceeded
 financial and service goals and continued to successfully support the core
 business and contribute to the bottom line.
     "A diverse selection of products, combined with our financial growth and
 extensive provider networks, gives our members the flexibility, strength and
 security in health care that only the Blues can provide," said Mead.
     In a health care industry dealing with turmoil nationwide, CBC grew and
 excelled in 2000, when others did not.  Last year, local competitor
 HealthCentral announced it was exiting the market after about four years of
 existence.  As a result, CBC acquired 128 new group customers, contributing to
 the company's 1.6 percent enrollment growth for the year.  Capital Blue Cross
 now serves 1.45 million people in central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.
     In addition to growing enrollment, CBC also saw its technology initiatives
 expand.
     The company added an on-line individual product rate quote feature to its
 www.capbluecross.com corporate Web site.  This allows the public to get an
 instant rate quote and expedite the enrollment process by downloading
 materials instead of waiting for them to arrive in the mail.
     Another technology initiative that CBC launched in 2000 was its Group
 Leader Web site.  This site enables company benefits managers to handle much
 of their administrative health insurance responsibilities on-line.
     The Group Leader Web site also affords benefits managers the opportunity
 to e-mail CBC with questions about coverage, a feature that is becoming very
 popular with members.  In 2000, CBC received 594 on-line inquiries through the
 Group Leader Web site, and another 6,042 through the corporate site.  The
 6,636 combined on-line inquiries more than doubled those received in 1999.
     Capital Blue Cross continued to help families in need in 2000 by creating
 a section on its Web site that gives people access to a printable application
 for the Children's Health Insurance Program (BlueCHIP(R)) on-line.  BlueCHIP
 offers free or low-cost health insurance to children in central Pennsylvania
 and the Lehigh Valley who are not eligible for Medical Assistance and have no
 other health insurance coverage.  Nearly 17,000 children were enrolled in
 BlueCHIP at the end of 2000, the most ever for the program.
     The company's electronic efforts were once again recognized in the
 information technology industry.  For the second year in a row, CBC was ranked
 in Information Week's listing of top 500 technology innovators in America.
     Capital Blue Cross was the recipient of another honor in 2000, as the
 company was recognized for its community efforts when it received the Large
 Business Excellence in Education Award, presented by the Council for Public
 Education.  Capital Blue Cross was recognized for enhancing the academic and
 social needs of students through its school-business partnership with the
 Susquehanna Township School District.
     "Our ability to bring health insurance products and information to our
 members is a vital element of our continued existence as a dominant insurer,"
 said Mead.  "That's why it has been so important for the company to be
 innovative and to also reach out to the communities that we serve and where we
 live.  These two honors exemplify our success in achieving those goals."
     Mead also noted that another way CBC touched the lives of its members in
 2000 was by introducing the company's first disease management program.  The
 Asthma Program is offered through the HealthOne product and is a systematic
 strategy for helping asthma sufferers manage the disease through the most
 proven methods of care.
     Capital Blue Cross serves members in Adams, Berks, Centre, Columbia,
 Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh,
 Mifflin, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Schuylkill, Snyder,
 Union, and York counties.  Headquartered in Harrisburg, CBC also has offices
 in Lemoyne and Allentown, and employs nearly 2,000 people.
     A copy of the company's 2000 annual report will be available on April 25
 at www.capbluecross.com.
 
 

SOURCE Capital Blue Cross
    HARRISBURG, Pa., April 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Capital Blue Cross (CBC) entered
 the 21st century with a healthy 2000, experiencing another year of financial
 growth and success from its business initiatives.
     "We began the year by successfully meeting Y2K head on and then carried
 that ethic of hard work right through 2000, making CBC an even better health
 insurer for its members," said James M. Mead, president and CEO.
     One of CBC's biggest strengths has been its financial and operational
 stability, and 2000 proved to be no different.  The company experienced its
 10th consecutive year of a positive bottom line, adding $34 million of net
 income to its unallocated reserves, bringing the total to $587 million.  The
 funds in reserve serve as a savings account and safety net, protecting the
 company and its members from unexpected fluctuations in ever-increasing claims
 expense.
     Capital Blue Cross generated a total of $1.3 billion in underwriting
 revenue, which represents a 9 percent increase over 1999.
     Due in part to the high cost of prescription drugs, an upward trend in
 utilization and costly new medical technology, the company saw underwriting
 losses of $17.6 million.  However, those losses are down $9.6 million from
 1999.
     Capital Blue Cross increased its market share and market leadership
 position by continuing to offer quality and value through a variety of Blue
 products -- HealthOne(SM) (point of service), CustomBlue(R) (preferred
 provider organization), traditional BasicBlue(R) products and Keystone Health
 Plan(R) Central.  The company's wholly owned subsidiaries, Capital Advantage
 Insurance Co., Consolidated Benefits, Inc. and NCAS Pennsylvania, all exceeded
 financial and service goals and continued to successfully support the core
 business and contribute to the bottom line.
     "A diverse selection of products, combined with our financial growth and
 extensive provider networks, gives our members the flexibility, strength and
 security in health care that only the Blues can provide," said Mead.
     In a health care industry dealing with turmoil nationwide, CBC grew and
 excelled in 2000, when others did not.  Last year, local competitor
 HealthCentral announced it was exiting the market after about four years of
 existence.  As a result, CBC acquired 128 new group customers, contributing to
 the company's 1.6 percent enrollment growth for the year.  Capital Blue Cross
 now serves 1.45 million people in central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley.
     In addition to growing enrollment, CBC also saw its technology initiatives
 expand.
     The company added an on-line individual product rate quote feature to its
 www.capbluecross.com corporate Web site.  This allows the public to get an
 instant rate quote and expedite the enrollment process by downloading
 materials instead of waiting for them to arrive in the mail.
     Another technology initiative that CBC launched in 2000 was its Group
 Leader Web site.  This site enables company benefits managers to handle much
 of their administrative health insurance responsibilities on-line.
     The Group Leader Web site also affords benefits managers the opportunity
 to e-mail CBC with questions about coverage, a feature that is becoming very
 popular with members.  In 2000, CBC received 594 on-line inquiries through the
 Group Leader Web site, and another 6,042 through the corporate site.  The
 6,636 combined on-line inquiries more than doubled those received in 1999.
     Capital Blue Cross continued to help families in need in 2000 by creating
 a section on its Web site that gives people access to a printable application
 for the Children's Health Insurance Program (BlueCHIP(R)) on-line.  BlueCHIP
 offers free or low-cost health insurance to children in central Pennsylvania
 and the Lehigh Valley who are not eligible for Medical Assistance and have no
 other health insurance coverage.  Nearly 17,000 children were enrolled in
 BlueCHIP at the end of 2000, the most ever for the program.
     The company's electronic efforts were once again recognized in the
 information technology industry.  For the second year in a row, CBC was ranked
 in Information Week's listing of top 500 technology innovators in America.
     Capital Blue Cross was the recipient of another honor in 2000, as the
 company was recognized for its community efforts when it received the Large
 Business Excellence in Education Award, presented by the Council for Public
 Education.  Capital Blue Cross was recognized for enhancing the academic and
 social needs of students through its school-business partnership with the
 Susquehanna Township School District.
     "Our ability to bring health insurance products and information to our
 members is a vital element of our continued existence as a dominant insurer,"
 said Mead.  "That's why it has been so important for the company to be
 innovative and to also reach out to the communities that we serve and where we
 live.  These two honors exemplify our success in achieving those goals."
     Mead also noted that another way CBC touched the lives of its members in
 2000 was by introducing the company's first disease management program.  The
 Asthma Program is offered through the HealthOne product and is a systematic
 strategy for helping asthma sufferers manage the disease through the most
 proven methods of care.
     Capital Blue Cross serves members in Adams, Berks, Centre, Columbia,
 Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Fulton, Juniata, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh,
 Mifflin, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Perry, Schuylkill, Snyder,
 Union, and York counties.  Headquartered in Harrisburg, CBC also has offices
 in Lemoyne and Allentown, and employs nearly 2,000 people.
     A copy of the company's 2000 annual report will be available on April 25
 at www.capbluecross.com.
 
 SOURCE  Capital Blue Cross