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CHICAGO (September 18, 2003) - Bankers Life and Casualty Company, Chicago, now covers government retirees of the State of South Dakota with senior retiree insurance.

The policy, which took effect in July 2003, covers about 1,100 policyholders and generates about $1.6 million in annual premiums for the 125-year-old national insurer. Bankers which specializes in products designed for seniors won the contract in a competitive bidding process necessitated when the former insurance carrier decided to cease business activities in the state.

"We're very happy to have Bankers on board as our supplemental insurance carrier," said Larry Kucker, Director of Benefits for the Department of Human Resources of South Dakota. "What you look for in a bidding process such as this one, is to find not only a competitively priced bid, but a company that has the knowledge and the staying power to provide the service you need. We feel Bankers gives us both."

Bankers Vice President of Affinity Marketing David Bledsoe said, "Bankers focuses exclusively on products that serve the needs of seniors and we've been doing it a long time. We were selling what used to be called Medi-gap insurance all the way back in 1965. We were one of the first companies to do it. So we have a lot of years to draw on to provide policyholders with the kind of service and attention they need."

Bledsoe said the policy provides retirees with their own coverage, and doesn't lump them together under the same coverage with active employees. It helps the state by providing retirees a much-needed coverage but lightens the premium load carried by the employer and policyholders.

Established in 1879 and headquartered at the historic Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago, Bankers Life and Casualty Company focuses exclusively on the financial security needs of seniors. The company offers a broad portfolio of health and life insurance and retirement savings products designed especially for seniors. These products are distributed through a national network of professionally trained company agents. Visit us online at