HealthNow N.Y. Acquires Northeast Benefits Firm, Brokerage Concepts

June 7, 2006

HealthNow New York Inc., parent company of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and BlueShield of Northeastern New York, is acquiring the business and operations of and Brokerage Concepts, Inc. (BCI), a major benefits brokerage and administration firm.

HealthNow officials said the acquisition will give it an expanded ability to meet the needs of the broker community.

BCI is one of the largest privately held group and individual insurance brokerage companies in the U.S. and provides benefits administration for 5,000 client companies representing 900,000 participants in medical, dental, vision, life and disability insurance plans.

BCI also provides COBRA and flexible spending account management services, as well as third-party administrator and brokerage services for employer group benefit needs nationwide.

Founded in 1977, Brokerage Concepts, Inc. employs more than 350 people and has headquarters in King of Prussia, Pa., with offices in Warminster and Philadelphia, Pa.; Waltham, Mass.; Dover, Del. and Deerfield Beach, Fla.

BCI’s business will continue to be operated under its current management.

HealthNow President and Chief Executive Officer Alphonso O’Neil-White said the acquisition of BCI is part of HealthNow’s on-going strategic plan to address the competitive healthcare arena.

“Surviving the competitive challenges of today’s rapidly changing marketplace means offering the full range of products, services and prices demanded by employers and consumers. HealthNow and BCI will offer the platform to do this on a national basis,” O’Neil-White said.

BCI President Arnold “Arnie” M. Katz, CLU, said th deal opens up new opportunities. “A core principle on which BCI was founded and has grown—to empower insurance brokers and their clients with a single, comprehensive resource for planning and implementing all of their group benefits needs—has remained constant. Our alliance with HealthNow gives us a wonderful opportunity to reach new markets and to continue to place the power of premier service into the hands of brokers and their clients,” said Katz, who founded BCI in 1977.

With annual revenues exceeding $2 billion, HealthNow does business as BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, BlueShield of Northeastern New York, HealthNow New York, and a division that processes Medicare claims for 45 Upstate New York counties.

The acquisition is subject to approval of the New York State Department of Insurance and other typical closing conditions.

Source: HealthNow New York

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