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Press Releases

Saturday, October 01, 2022

Highmark Medicare products make care more affordable - Delaware

  • Introducing a brand new $0 premium plan designed specifically for our nation’s veterans – Freedom Blue PPO Valor
  • Added value for current Highmark members with lower copays and expanded supplemental benefits, including increased dental and over-the-counter allowances on many plans
  • Waiving in-patient COVID related cost-sharing for the second year in a row
  • Lowering premiums for Freedom Blue PPO Distinct members
  • Medicare Advisors to guide shoppers through plan selection and enrollment and answer any questions
  • Access to the Delaware Concierge Connect team – a specialized customer service team dedicated to serving Highmark Delaware members. 

WILMINGTON (October 1, 2022) – Highmark has announced plan enhancements that will provide more value to Medicare members with lower premiums and copays, expanded supplemental benefits, and the introduction of a new Medicare Advantage product to ensure a portfolio of plans that meets the needs of all Delaware consumers.

“When we began planning for our 2023 Medicare products, we looked at ways to make enhancements that help make high-quality care more affordable for Delaware seniors,” said Alexis Miller, Government Business President. All of our plans offer $0 PCP visits and many offer $0 labs, and we have lowered copays for specialists and physical therapists on select plans to make it more affordable to access high-quality care.”   

Continued commitment to member health
Highmark recognizes that the right Medicare Advantage plan is affordable both when you are healthy and when you need to access more care.  “We are adding a new $0 premium product that is a great value,” said Ellen Galardy, senior vice president of Highmark Medicare & ACA Markets.  “Whether someone is looking for one of our most existing Freedom Blue PPO plans or our brand-new $0 plan, we’re confident that one of our local Medicare experts can help shoppers find a plan that fits both their budget and their healthcare needs.   

In addition to product improvements designed to make access to care easier and more affordable, Highmark offers many additional benefits and tools that make it easier for our members to stay engaged with their health and manage chronic conditions.

“We recognize how important it is for our senior members to have affordable access to their prescriptions,” said Galardy. “This year we are enhancing our Rx benefits on many plans by lowering copays, which will help our members to fill their prescriptions at a lower out-of-pocket cost.”

Highmark enrollees can also continue to expect robust supplemental benefits that go beyond original Medicare to ensure they have access to the products and services they need to stay healthy. Highmark plans include dental, vision, and hearing coverage, and some plans also offer allowances for over-the-counter items, and free home-delivered meals following an inpatient hospital stay.

2023 Medicare Advantage products
Nick Moriello, President, Highmark Delaware, recognizes the growing popularity of Medicare Advantage plans.  “Each year, more and more seniors in Delaware choose a Medicare Advantage plan," said Moriello. “These plans offer premiums as low as $0 and include valuable supplemental benefits like dental and vision coverage.  And seniors in Medicare Advantage plans are more likely to get preventive care, which is key to staying healthy.”

In 2023, in continued collaboration with Christiana Care and Bayhealth, Highmark will provide more value to Medicare members with lower premiums and copays and expanded supplemental benefits.  Highmark will also be launching a new plan in 2023 – a $0 PPO plan designed for our nation’s veterans – to ensure a portfolio that meets the needs of Delaware consumers.

The new Freedom Blue PPO Valor is a $0 premium plan with a $60 Part B giveback that is designed to supplement the medical and drug coverage our nation’s veterans already receive through the VA.  Not only does this plan offer $0 in-network primary care and $10 specialist visits, but also includes $5 copays for mental health visits and generous supplemental benefits, including $0 dental exams and x-rays. 

“We wanted to honor our veterans by making sure we have an option for a great Medicare Advantage plan that complements the coverage they receive through the VA. Plus, our $0 plan also offers supplemental benefits, including vision, comprehensive dental, hearing, and allowances for over-the-counter items,” said Moriello.  

Highmark will continue to offer the Freedom Blue PPO Signature plan.  Still with a $0 premium, Highmark has reduced copays on several benefits including inpatient admissions, physical therapy, and prescription drugs, as well as increased dental and over-the-counter allowances. 

Highmark will also continue to offer the Freedom Blue PPO Distinct plan.  With a slightly reduced premium, this plan comes with $0 copays for primary care, specialists, physical therapy, and urgent care, as well as robust supplemental benefits including free meals following an inpatient hospital discharge and an increased over-the-counter and dental allowance.  Highmark recognizes that, sometimes, getting and staying healthy requires help.  That is why Highmark offers the Papa Pals program on the Freedom Blue PPO Distinct plan, where members have a $0 copay for up to 36 hours of additional support services such as transportation, respite care, and home visits. 

Moriello also noted that all Highmark Delaware Medicare members also have access to the Delaware Connect Concierge Team. “Concierge team customer service reps are experts in plan benefits and can connect Highmark members to tools and resources to support their health and well-being, such as assisting with appointment scheduling, setting up virtual visits, and much more to help keep members on track to live their healthiest lives,” he said.

“Through this unique collaboration between an insurer and two health systems, we’ve designed Medicare coverage options to include a strong focus on preventive care, combined with a suite of care management and disease management programs that will help members better manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, so that they can prevent the need for hospitalization and emergency care,” said Christine Donohue-Henry, MD, MBA, ChristianaCare’s chief population health officer. “This is high-quality care that helps Delaware seniors achieve their best health.”

“Serving the community remains fundamental to our mission at Bayhealth,” said Terry Murphy, FACHE, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bayhealth. “Our continued relationship between ChristianaCare and Highmark will optimize our ability to provide high quality, cost-effective care as well as ensure a seamless patient experience across the healthcare landscape.”

In addition to Medicare Advantage plans, Highmark offers a wide range of Medigap Blue supplemental products to ensure that everyone can find the right Highmark Medicare plan for them.  Medigap Blue lowers members’ out of pocket costs for services covered under Medicare Part A and Part B, and offers the freedom and flexibility to see any doctor or hospital in the country that accepts Medicare. Additionally, members of Highmark Medigap Blue plans have exclusive access to the Whole Health Balance program, which provides extra coverage for hearing aids, vision, dental and fitness. 

For more information on any of Highmark’s Medicare offerings or detailed descriptions of all Highmark Medicare Advantage plans, call a Medicare expert at 1-800-318-1487.  Information and pricing are also available at Medicare.highmark.com.

About Highmark Inc.
One of America's leading health insurance organizations and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Highmark Inc. (the Health Plan) and its affiliated health plans (collectively, the Health Plans) work passionately to deliver high-quality, accessible, understandable, and affordable experiences, outcomes, and solutions to customers. As the fourth-largest overall Blue Cross Blue Shield-affiliated organization, Highmark Inc. and its Blue-branded affiliates proudly cover the insurance needs of approximately 6.8 million members in Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and West Virginia. Its diversified businesses serve group customer and individual needs across the United States through dental insurance and other related businesses. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

For more information, contact

Denee Crumrine
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
302-421-2448
denee.crumrine@highmarkhealth.org