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Highmark offering more competitive Medicare Advantage and Medigap products in western Pennsylvania in 2019

Highmark Inc.

  • Access to out of network care expanded for most Medicare Advantage products
  • Enhanced benefits such as lower co-pays on most plans
  • Premiums Stable for Coming Year
  • Members will see lower cost-sharing at CVS — a new preferred pharmacy

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Oct. 1, 2018) — The annual election period for 2019 Medicare coverage begins October 15 and runs through December 7, and today Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield announced a wide range of Medicare Advantage and Medigap supplement products for the upcoming year.

"Highmark is excited about all of the options that we have for seniors, especially here in Western Pennsylvania for 2019," said Alexis Miller, senior vice president of Senior Markets at Highmark. "We are here to help seniors find the right coverage — whether it's Medicare Advantage or Medigap supplements — that meets their needs."

Highmark is making it easier for members to access care wherever they choose by expanding out of network benefits for most Medicare Advantage plans, including the introduction of the Point of Service (POS) benefit to the Security Blue HMO plan.

Similar to out-of-network benefits of PPO plans, the POS benefit gives Security Blue HMO members additional peace of mind that they are covered for most Medicare covered services no matter where they are. For example, both Freedom Blue PPO and Security Blue HMO-POS members will have the same copays when they visit a PCP or specialist, whether they choose to visit an in-network or out-of-network provider.

"Access to care and knowing you are covered no matter where you are is a key component of our plans, but we also know coverage has to be affordable," said Miller. "So we are also lowering out-of-pocket maximums and physician co-pays for most of our Medicare Advantage products in 2019."

Miller also noted that premiums for most Medicare Advantage plans will remain stable for 2019, further keeping Highmark's plans affordable.

"We've also improved coverage for dental visits and x-rays, as well as hearing aids — services that aren't covered by traditional Medicare plans," she said. "We are also offering lower cost-sharing when our members use a CVS pharmacy — CVS will be a new preferred pharmacy network for Medicare Advantage starting in 2019."

Additional Highmark 2019 product offerings for Medicare-eligible individuals include:

Community Blue Medicare HMO zero premium plans

Highmark's most popular Medicare Advantage plan in Western Pennsylvania, Community Blue Medicare HMO zero premium plan members have robust medical and prescription drug benefits as well as many supplemental benefits. Like other Highmark Medicare Advantage members, they can access routine dental cleanings every six months, routine vision care, covered SilverSneakers gym memberships, routine chiropractic treatment, and hearing aids. Annual wellness exams and preventive health screenings are also included.

Members pay:

  • No additional monthly premiums
  • No co-pays for primary care visits
  • No co-pays for tier one generic drugs
  • No deductibles
  • Receive comprehensive benefits including prescription drug coverage

Community Blue Medicare HMO includes a number of new enhancements for 2019 including lower costs for accessing specialists, in-patient hospital stays, outpatient surgery, and prescription drugs. Dental benefits have also been improved in 2019 and members will see lower dental co-pays, with $0 co-pays for routine office visits and x-rays.

Community Blue Medicare PPO

Introduced in 2018, Community Blue Medicare PPO offers robust benefits and uses a similar high value network as Community Blue Medicare HMO plans, with the additional freedom to travel across the United States and find in-network coverage.

All Highmark Medicare members enjoy another important benefit — PALS which stands for People Able to Lend Support. PALS connects seniors with a network of neighborhood volunteers to help them with transportation, grocery shopping, light housekeeping, pet care or simply a friendly visit. Many seniors in Pennsylvania would not be able to remain in their homes without the help of their PALS volunteer. To learn more about neighbors helping neighbors through PALS, visit Highmark Health Blog.

Blue Rx PDP standalone prescription drug plans and Medigap Blue Medicare Supplement plans round out Highmark's Medicare product offerings for 2019.

With no networks, Medigap Blue members have access to any doctor in the United States that accepts Medicare.

Detailed descriptions of all Highmark Medicare Advantage plans are available at Shop.Highmark.com/Medicare.

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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About Highmark Inc.

Highmark Inc. and its health insurance subsidiaries and affiliates collectively are one of America's largest health insurance organizations and together with its Blue-branded affiliates, collectively comprise the third-largest overall Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated organization in the country based on capital. Highmark Inc. and its affiliates operate health insurance plans in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia that serve approximately 4.6 million members and hundreds of thousands of additional individuals through the BlueCard® program. Its diversified businesses serve group customer and individual needs across the United States through dental insurance, vision care, and other related businesses. Highmark Inc. 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.

About SilverSneakers

SilverSneakers is a registered mark of Tivity Health Inc. Tivity Health 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. Out-of-network/non-contracted providers are under no obligation to treat Freedom Blue PPO, Security Blue HMO-POS and/or Community Blue Medicare PPO members, except in emergency situations. Please call our customer service number or see your Evidence of Coverage for more information, including the cost-sharing that applies to out-of-network services. 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-POS and Freedom Blue PPO Medicare Advantage Products.

For more information, contact:
Aaron Billger
Highmark Health
412-544-7826
aaron.billger@highmark.com
For more information, contact:
Anthony Matrisciano
Highmark Health
570-200-6310
anthony.matrisciano@highmark.com