INDIANAPOLIS--Consumers will be able to enjoy more options and flexibility to pay for health care expenses, gain more control over their health care dollars, reap tax benefits and plan for retirement as a result of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield's (Anthem) introduction of its Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).

The new product, Anthem ByDesign HSA, offers an Anthem high deductible health plan (HDHP) coupled with a Chase custodian account that enables consumers to use checks and debit cards to pay for qualified medical expenses out of the HSA.  The HSAs will be available this year, as the product is introduced throughout Anthem markets.

Anthem has aligned with JPMorgan Chase Bank, a global leader in the development of electronic payments solutions, to make it easy and convenient for members to establish and use an HSA.  HSAs have only recently become available to consumers with the recent passage of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003.

"We're very pleased to combine our health benefits expertise with JPMorgan's strong financial services capabilities in an effort to not only provide consumers more control over their health care, but to plan for their financial future," said Mark Boxer, executive vice president and chief information, strategy and business development officer for Anthem.  "Offering HSAs gives our members what they have told us they want -- more affordable product options and the flexibility to choose the benefits that meet their needs."

"By marrying savings vehicles to Anthem's qualified high deductible health plans, we can help consumers manage their health care expenses, and plan for their retirement through the use of HSA tax incentives," said John Prince, senior vice president, JPMorgan Treasury Services.  "Pre-tax HSA contributions will reduce consumers' taxable income while allowing them to set aside additional money for their health expenses.  The money in the accounts can also be invested, allowing employees to earn more money to help pay for future health care expenses."

Anthem ByDesign HSA is the latest addition to Anthem's portfolio of consumer-driven health plans.  The new Anthem ByDesign HSAs broaden the range of consumer-centric health care plans available from Anthem, giving members even more affordable product options supported by online tools to help consumers manage their health care decisions.




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