Berlin, VT – More than 100 Vermont non-profit organizations have received grants totaling $205,000 from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT) in the first half of 2008, the states largest health insurer announced today.The funds are granted to improve health education and promote healthy lifestyles, and for direct services. BCBSVT executives cited the connection between improved health and lower health insurance rates as the incentive for its support and collaboration with community-based organizations receiving the grants. Individual grants typically range between $250 and $2,000.Partnering with like-minded organizations seeking to improve the health of our citizens benefits all of our customers and the state, explained William R. Milnes, Jr., president and CEO. Evidence clearly supports the value of these programs for improving health, and healthier Vermonters require fewer visits to the doctor, thereby helping to contain the cost of insurance premiums.In addition to direct grants, the insurer also administers the Vermont Caring Foundation, a non-profit foundation it created in 2005 to enhance the health and well being of Vermonts children. The Foundation granted nearly $14,000 in the first half of the year to four projects that promote physical activity and combat obesity.Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is the state’s oldest and largest private health insurer, providing coverage for about 180,000 Vermonters. It employs over 350 Vermonters at its headquarters in Berlin and branch office in Williston, and offers group and individual health plans to Vermonters. More information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is available on the Internet at www.bcbsvt.com(link is external). Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent corporation operating under a license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.