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MinuteClinic Becomes Participating Provider With Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

MINNEAPOLIS and NEWARK, N.J., Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Beginning February 1, 2009, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) members will have new options for routine medical care. Horizon BCBSNJ and MinuteClinic, the largest provider of retail health care in the United States, have reached an agreement that will make New Jersey based MinuteClinic health care centers participating providers with Horizon BCBSNJ.

"We are delighted to be able to offer this convenience to our members," said Richard G. Popiel, MD, MBA, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Horizon BCBSNJ. "MinuteClinic provides a cost-effective solution for addressing common illnesses while maintaining Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey's standards for high quality health care."

"Horizon BCBSNJ shares our goals of creating consumer-driven health care solutions that provide convenient access and deliver cost savings," said Chip Phillips, MinuteClinic President. "By offering quality treatment in a convenient setting, we can work with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey to help reduce health care insurance expenses for their members as well as time spent away from their families and the workplace."

MinuteClinic health care centers are staffed by masters-prepared, board-certified nurse practitioners. These practitioners specialize in family health care and are trained to diagnose, treat and write prescriptions when clinically indicated for common family illnesses such as strep throat and ear, eye, sinus, bladder and bronchial infections. Common vaccinations such as influenza, tetanus, MMR, and Hepatitis A & B are also available. MinuteClinic retail locations are open seven days a week including weekday evening hours. No appointment is necessary.

MinuteClinic nurse practitioners utilize nationally recognized medical protocols to diagnose and treat health conditions. With the patient's consent, treatment information is shared with his or her primary care physician to facilitate continuity of care. Horizon BCBSNJ encourages members to continue to use their primary care physician as their first point of care for ongoing health problems and to recognize that retail health clinics are not meant to treat serious illness or emergency situations.

About MinuteClinic

Minneapolis-based MinuteClinic is a subsidiary of CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE: CVS), the No. 1 provider of prescriptions and related health care services in the nation. MinuteClinic launched the first retail health care centers in the United States in 2000 and is the first provider to establish a national presence with more than 500 locations in 25 states. By creating a health care delivery model that responds to consumer demand, MinuteClinic makes access to high-quality medical treatment easier for more Americans. The company has generated more than 3 million patient visits, with a 95 percent customer satisfaction rating. A recognized leader in the patient-centric health care movement, MinuteClinic consistently brings innovation to the marketplace and sets new standards for clinical quality that exceed the national guidelines established for store-based clinics by the American Medical Association (AMA) and the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). MinuteClinic is the first and only retail health care provider to receive accreditation from The Joint Commission, the national evaluation and certifying agency for nearly 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. For more information, visit www.MinuteClinic.com.

About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is the oldest and largest health insurer in the state serving over 3.6 million members. Horizon BCBSNJ is New Jersey's only not-for-profit, health service corporation and is headquartered in Newark with offices in Wall, Mt. Laurel, and West Trenton.

Horizon BCBSNJ provides a broad array of health and dental insurance products and services for individuals and small and large companies, including national companies headquartered in New Jersey. Horizon BCBSNJ is committed to improving the health care experience for all the communities we serve as well as helping our members become and stay healthy.

Horizon BCBSNJ's Web site is located at www.HorizonBlue.com. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

CONTACT: Brent Burkhardt, TBC Public Relations, +1-410-986-1303, bburkhardt@tbc.us; Daniel Emmer, Horizon BCBSNJ, +1-973-466-4805, Daniel_Emmer@horizonblue.com/ /Web Site: http://www.minuteclinic.com /

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