NU Online News Service, Aug. 4, 2004, 1:22 p.m. EDT

Sovereign Bancorp Inc., Blue Bell, Pa., has agreed to buy consumer advisory services for its employees from Health Advocate Inc., Blue Bell, Pa.[@@]

Health Advocate uses nurses, medical directors and administrative experts to help health plan members understand their plans and cut through red tape.

The Sovereign contract will give Sovereign’s 9,500 employees and the children, spouses, parents and parents-in-law of those employees unlimited access to Health Advocate advisors, Health Advocate says.