NU Online News Service, June 4, 2 p.m. – Total enrollment in the 43 independent Blue Plans across the country reached 82.6 million at the end of 2001–an increase from 80.1 million at the end of 2000, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Chicago, announced today.

The growth of 2.5 million Blue Plan members in 2001 follows growth of 5.2 million new members in 2000 and marks the seventh consecutive year that the Blue Cross and Blue Shield System has recorded enrollment growth, the company says.

The 82.6 million Blue System membership total is the highest enrollment level in the system in 20 years. The Blue System had 82.7 million members in 1982.