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''No Worry'' from Humana Makes Health Care Costs Predictable for Small Businesses in Illinois

New, Three-Year Health Insurance Packages Cap Annual Premium Increases at 6-Percent or Lower

Category:

Monday, December 18, 2006 4:18 pm EST

Dateline:

CHICAGO

Public Company Information:

NYSE:
HUM
US4448591028

CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Addressing the particular challenges faced by small businesses, Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) will launch a series of new health insurance packages designed to alleviate the financial stresses of increasing health insurance costs. Dubbed No Worry, these packages offer predictable health care expenses over a three-year period and plans that gradually transition passive health care users into informed and active health care consumers.

Available for businesses in Illinois with 51-99 employees, employers may select one of 28 three-year No Worry packages. Each package presents a unique combination of predetermined health insurance plans for years one, two and three that provide actionable information and tools leading employees toward increased consumer engagement. For example, a No Worry package might include a traditional PPO plan in year one, Humanas consumer-engaging CoverageFirst plan in year two, and a high-deductible health plan compatible with a Health Savings Account (HSA) in year three.

With No Worry, Humana guarantees the annual premium rate increase for medical insurance will not exceed 6 percent, well below industry cost trends, for the two subsequent years. Employers can qualify for an even lower 4.5 percent medical premium rate cap in the second and third years by adding dental coverage and meeting other requirements like having 90-percent of their employees complete a Humana Health Assessment.

No Worry was developed in response to feedback from small businesses and independent insurance agents and brokers.

We asked small business owners what their key worries were with respect to health benefits for their employees, and the same concepts resurfaced again and again, said Jerry Ganoni, president of Humana Small Business and HumanaDental. They want predictability, a long-term solution to rising costs and a hassle-free process. We listened. At its heart, thats what Humanas No Worry packages offer.

Three-year contracts eliminate the need for benefit selection each year, saving small employers valuable time and energy. The rate increase cap ensures predictable health benefits costs, enabling more accurate budgeting and long-term financial planning for small businesses. Were confident that Humanas consumer-driven tools and programs encourage behavior changes that result in wiser health-care consumers and healthier, more productive employees, and our rate guarantee demonstrates that, added Ganoni.

In addition, employers can add dental and/or life insurance to their No Worry package, and Humana will guarantee that the annual rate increase for dental will not exceed 2.9 percent in years two and three, and that there will be no annual rate increase for basic life insurance in the second and third years.

Managing a small business is fraught with difficult decisions. Forgoing health benefits because theyre unaffordable is not an option any business wants to consider, said Hassan Rifaat, chief executive officer of Humanas Illinois market. Humanas No Worry program offers a long-term solution to this dilemma by holding down cost while still offering employees meaningful benefits and choice.

No Worry is available for employers in Illinois whose health plans take effect on January 1, 2007 or beyond.

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nations largest publicly traded health benefits companies, with more than 11 million medical members. Humana offers a diversified portfolio of health insurance products and related services through traditional and consumer-choice plans to employer groups, government-sponsored plans, and individuals.

Over its 45-year history, Humana has consistently seized opportunities to meet changing customer needs. Today, the company is a leader in consumer engagement, providing guidance that leads to lower costs and a better health plan experience throughout its diversified customer portfolio.

More information regarding Humana is available to investors via the Investor Relations page of the companys web site at http://www.humana.com, including copies of:

  • Annual report to stockholders;
  • Securities and Exchange Commission filings;
  • Most recent investor conference presentation;
  • Quarterly earnings news releases;
  • Replays of most recent earnings release conference call;
  • Calendar of events (includes upcoming earnings conference call dates, times, and access number, as well as planned interaction with research analysts and institutional investors);
  • Corporate Governance Information.

Contact:

Humana Corporate Communications
Mark Mathis, 312-441-5010
Media Relations Manager
mmathis@humana.com