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Press Release


Media Contacts:

Sally Kweskin,

Empire BlueCross BlueShield

(720) 373-4836

sally.kweskin@empireblue.com

New York – January 7, 2011 – Empire BlueCross BlueShield, through its affiliate, Anthem Life & Disability Insurance Company, supports the Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project to help severely injured service men and women rebuild their lives through sports with a ski event in the Windham ski area in Windham, New York, from Thursday, January 6 through Sunday, January 9.

The Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project is a partnership between Disabled Sports USA, its chapters and the Wounded Warrior Project. The Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project provides year-round sports programs for severely wounded service men and women from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflict and the Global War on Terrorism.

"When someone is first faced with the reality of a disability, they can lose confidence in themselves, become depressed and believe their lives have ended," said Mark Wagar, President and CEO of Empire BlueCross BlueShield. "Activities like this ski event, that are both physically challenging and competitive, offer a critically needed opportunity to rebuild self-confidence and focus on the possibilities instead of dwelling on what can no longer be done. We're very pleased to once again sponsor this event and be an active support to the Wounded Warriors organization."

"This sponsorship is a welcome treat for everyone involved," said Kirk Bauer, executive director, Disabled Sports USA, Inc. "We know the positive impact sports and recreational activities have on successfully rehabilitating individuals with disabilities. Having the ability to participate in a sport, such as cycling; skiing; and sailing, to name a few, provides our wounded warriors with the opportunity to rebuild their self esteem and self confidence and reunite with family and friends in a healthy shared activity."

"When someone becomes disabled, many things in their life change; however, that shouldn't stop them from enjoying a full and active life that includes sports and other activities," said Nicholas Brecker, president of Anthem Life and Disability Insurance Company. "We are very committed to helping people with disabilities get back to health, back to work and back to life. Sponsoring events such as this ski event helps us reinforce our philosophy with individuals who have given so much to this country."

Anthem Life and Disability Insurance Company is the national gold sponsor of a number of events for the Wounded Warrior Disabled Sports Project throughout 2011, including ski and golf events in New York, California, and other states.

About Disabled Sports USA

Founded in 1967 by disabled Vietnam veterans, Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA) provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to rebuild their lives through sports, recreation and educational programs. DSUSA is a national multi-sport, multi-disability organization serving more than 60,000 youth and adults annually. A member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, DSUSA offers programs through its nationwide network of over 100 community-based chapters operating in 37 states. For schedules and additional information, visit www.dsusa.org or call (301) 217-9840. DS/USA is a member of the Combined Federal Campaign number: 10151.

About Wounded Warrior Project

The mission of the Wounded Warrior Project is to honor and empower wounded warriors. Its purpose is to raise awareness and to enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service members, to help severely injured men and women aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs. WWP is a national, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, FL. To get involved and learn more, visit www.woundedwarriorproject.org.

Empire BlueCross BlueShield

Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc., independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State. Additional information about Empire is available at www.empireblue.com.

About Anthem Life and Disability Insurance Company

Life and Disability products are underwritten by Anthem Life & Disability Insurance Company, an affiliate of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

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