SOURCE: Flexible Benefit Service Corporation

May 23, 2005 10:47 ET

Flexible Benefit Service Corporation and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Introduce Alternative, Voluntary Health Benefits Program to Illinois Employers

Unique Concept Provides Access to Affordable and Convenient Health Plans

ROSEMONT, IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- May 23, 2005 -- Flexible Benefit Service Corporation (FBSC) and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) announced today their joint participation in FlexWORKPLACE™, available to Illinois employer groups of any size. FlexWORKPLACE™, a new, voluntary health benefits program -- for the first time -- lets employers offer their employees individual health insurance plans from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois through employer-facilitated payroll deduction.

FlexWORKPLACE™ has been designed to address the immediate need and opportunity to expand traditional voluntary plans to include less expensive consumer-driven health insurance options. Recent studies have indicated that more than 1.6 million Illinois residents do not have health insurance, representing approximately 16 percent of the state's population. Those at the greatest risk include working families and children, representing more than 25 percent of the uninsured. The majority of uninsured are so because premiums are too high, employer-based coverage is not offered or is not available to part-time workers. FlexWORKPLACE™ is intended to provide options for these circumstances.

FlexWORKPLACE™, available beginning June 1, 2005, will provide list billing for employers to accommodate payroll deduction. The program will be strictly voluntary and no employer contribution will be required. There are also no participation requirements, as any employee can participate.

BCBSIL will support FlexWORKPLACE™ by providing access to low cost consumer directed health plans offered through its Consumer Markets Division. The BCBSIL plans offered by FlexWORKPLACE™ include the new BlueEdge(SM) Individual HSA and BlueEdge(SM) Individual HSA 5000 high deductible insurance plans, as well as the High Deductible and Children's Health Insurance Plans. These affordable health insurance plans provide reliable benefits that can be paired with a Health Savings Account (HSA).

FBSC will provide distribution through the brokerage community as an independent General Agent for BCBSIL. FBSC will be the front-line resource to educate, service and support brokers, employers and their employees. FBSC will also provide its trademarked FlexHSA® and HSA55™ products to complete the fully integrated FlexWORKPLACE™ program. FlexHSA® and HSA55™ combine health benefits, banking services and investment options through one point of contact.

"As tax law changes, FlexWORKPLACE™ will provide alternative strategies to employers and employees," said Allen Wishner, CEO of Flexible Benefit Service Corporation. "With tax equity, individual plans offered at the work place make good financial sense and provide access, affordability and convenience."

To help support and drive the FlexWORKPLACE™ program, two fully dedicated resources will be utilized -- and 877-FLEXWORKS. These resources allow brokers, employers and their employees to find out about the program, learn about the advantages of FlexWORKPLACE™, view program options, obtain BCBSIL health insurance quotes and manage their FlexHSA® and HSA55™ accounts.

Flexible Benefit Service Corporation is an independent General Agent for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois' Consumer Markets Division. FlexWORKPLACE™ and HSA55™ are trademarks, and FlexHSA® is a registered mark of Flexible Benefit Service Corporation. BlueEdge(SM) Individual HSA and BlueEdge(SM) Individual HSA 5000 are registered service marks of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an Association of Independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.

About Flexible Benefit Service Corporation

Founded in August 1988, Flexible Benefit Service Corporation provides brokers, employers and individuals with affordable insurance plan designs and consumer-driven alternatives. We are dedicated to finding solutions for rising healthcare costs and promoting the plans that offer premium relief. We take a defined contribution approach to health insurance and the carriers we represent continue to work towards that same goal. Through online technology and exceptional carrier relationships, we are at the forefront of all the latest trends and key options in health care.

10275 W. Higgins, Suite 500
Rosemont, IL 60018

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