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Highmark announces 2017 Medicare products for western Pennsylvania

Variety of Plans and Price Points Offer Consumers a Wide Choice in Protecting their Health and Financial Security

Preferred Pharmacy Network Offers a New Way to Save on Prescription Drugs

Highmark Inc.

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Oct. 1, 2016) — Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield announced today a wide range of affordable Medicare Advantage plans designed to meet varying health needs and budgets. The 2017 Medicare annual election period runs from Oct.15 through Dec.7, 2016.

"We are always listening to our customers," said Lori Rund, Highmark's vice president of senior markets. "This year they told us they wanted simplicity and choice. We built our 2017 health plans on those principles, keeping in mind that helping our members protect their health and financial security is our first priority."

Highmark's Community Blue Medicare HMO features Allegheny Health Network along with over 80 local and community hospitals and worldwide coverage for urgent and emergency care. Premiums remain at zero for the Signature plan design. There are no copays for primary care physician office visits or preferred generic drugs. There are also no referral or deductible requirements.

"We wanted to make it as easy and simple as possible for members to get the care that they need," said Rund.

New for 2017 is Highmark's preferred pharmacy network. For the first time, Highmark members in Western Pennsylvania will be able to fill their prescriptions at pharmacies on a preferred list of popular and convenient pharmacies and save even more money on copays and coinsurance. The preferred pharmacy network will be available for Western Pennsylvania members selecting the Community Blue Medicare HMO Signature and Security Blue HMO ValueRx plans.

In addition to coverage for medical care and hospitalization, all of Highmark's Medicare Advantage plans cover important extras like routine vision and dental care and hearing aids. SilverSneakers gym memberships are included as well.

Highmark's Security Blue HMOs, Freedom Blue PPOs, BlueRx PDP standalone prescription drug plans and Medigap Blue Medicare Supplement plans round out Highmark’s Medicare product offerings for 2017. Detailed plan designs and pricing will be available on the CMS website Oct. 1 so consumers can get an advance look before the annual election period begins Oct. 15.

"When selecting a Medicare plan, premiums are only one part of the story," noted Rund. "We encourage seniors to carefully weigh how each benefit plan design fits with their current needs. The plan that was right for you last year may not be the best choice this year."

Highmark offers consumers online tools so they can make side-by-side comparisons of plans based on their individual health care spending and anticipated costs. They can receive one-on-one consultation at a Highmark Direct health insurance retail store, via the telephone or in-home visits.

ABOUT HIGHMARK INC.

Highmark Inc. and its health insurance subsidiaries and affiliates collectively are among the ten largest health insurers in the United States and comprise the fourth-largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated organization. Highmark and its diversified businesses and affiliates operate health insurance plans in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia that serve 5.2 million members and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the Blue Card program. Its diversified businesses serve group customer and individual needs across the United States through dental insurance, vision care and other related businesses. Highmark is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

Community Blue Medicare HMO is a limited network plan. If you want access to Highmark’s full provider network, including UPMC hospitals and physicians, you may wish to consider our Security Blue HMO and Freedom Blue PPO Medicare Advantage products.

Please verify that your providers are participating before enrolling. If a provider does not participate, neither Medicare nor Community Blue Medicare HMO will be responsible for the costs. This information is not a complete description of benefits. Contact the plan for more information. Limitations, copayments, and restrictions may apply. Benefits, premiums and/or co-payments/co-insurance may change on January 1 of each year. You must continue to pay your Medicare Part B premium. The Formulary, pharmacy network, and/or provider network may change at any time. You will receive notice when necessary. SilverSneakers is a registered mark of Healthways, Inc. Healthways, Inc., is a separate company that administers the SilverSneakers program. Highmark Choice Company and Highmark Senior Health Company are Medicare Advantage plans with a Medicare contract. HM Health Insurance Company is a PDP plan with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in Highmark Choice Company, Highmark Senior Health Company, and HM Health Insurance Company depends on contract renewal. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Highmark Choice Company, Highmark Senior Health Company and HM Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

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For more information, contact:
Wendy Morphew
Highmark Media Relations
412-544-3616 (office)
917-697-1782 (cell)
Wendy.morphew@highmarkhealth.org