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Blue Cross Reports Growth in First Half

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CHICAGO, Nov 10, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The Chicago-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association said Monday nationwide enrollment rose by 3 million in the first half of 2003 from last year.

The agency said total enrollment in the 41 independent Blue Plans across the country reached 88.3 million at the end of the second quarter of 2003 from 85.3 million in 2002.

The 2003 growth follows enrollment growth of 2.7 million new members in 2002 and marks the ninth consecutive year the system has recorded enrollment growth, the company said..

"Consumers are continuing to turn to Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans for quality, dependability and financial strength," said President and CEO Scott P. Serota.

Blue Plans paid out $77.6 billion in claims, or 86.3 percent of premiums, through the second quarter of 2003. In 2002, Blue Plans paid out $141 billion in claims, or 86.6 percent of premiums.

Administrative costs for Blue Plans fell from 11.1 percent of premiums for 2002 to 10.8 percent for the first half of 2003.

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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