Press Releases

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Highmark announces 2020 Medicare Advantage and Medigap products in northwest Pennsylvania

  • New $0 Community Blue PPO Signature Plan launching in northwest PA
  • $0 Community Blue Medicare HMO Signature and PPO Distinct plans will improve in 2020, with additional supplemental benefits and lower copays for many services
  • Security Blue and Freedom Blue plans will have lower premiums, improved benefits and in- network access to all local providers including AHN, UPMC, Cleveland Clinic and other community providers

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (Oct. 1, 2019) — The annual election period for 2020 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.

"Consumers have a lot of choices when it comes to selecting the right Medicare coverage," said Alexis Miller, senior vice president of Senior Markets at Highmark. "Whether it's a Medicare Advantage plan or Medigap supplements, Highmark has a plan for everyone that includes affordable monthly premiums, robust benefits and low out-of-pocket costs."

For the third year in a row, Highmark Freedom Blue PPO and Security Blue HMO-POS members will benefit from lower premiums and expanded benefits including a lower annual out-of-pocket maximum, $0 routine hearing co-pays and an increased allowance for eyewear. These plans also offer in-network access to AHN, UPMC, and other local hospitals.

These improvements to Highmark Freedom Blue PPO and Security Blue HMO-POS plans are expected to prompt many former Highmark members to come back to the plans they loved in the past.

Additional 2020 Highmark product offerings for Medicare-eligible individuals include:

Community Blue Medicare PPO Signature, Highmark is launching a new $0 PPO plan in 2020. This plan will leverage Highmark's Community Blue network as well as a national network of blue providers including Cleveland Clinic. "This plan is expected to be the fastest growing option in northwest PA" according to Miller. It includes robust medical and prescription drug coverage as well as:

  • $0 monthly premiums
  • $0 co-pays for primary care visits
  • $0 co-pays for tier one preferred generic drugs at preferred pharmacies
  • No deductibles
  • $750 comprehensive dental allowance, as well as preventative dental, vision, fitness and hearing benefits and an allowance for Over The Counter items
  • Coverage for both In-and Out-of-network physicians and hospitals

"Highmark has over twenty thousand members enrolled in zero dollar premium plans," Miller noted. "Members enjoy the peace of mind of knowing they don't have to pay an additional monthly premium and have low out-of-pocket costs with no deductibles and limited co-pays."

Community Blue Medicare HMO Signature, Highmark's historically popular Medicare Advantage plan where coverage has been improved to cover new over the counter drug benefits as well as comprehensive dental coverage while members pay:

  • $0 monthly premiums
  • $0 co-pays for primary care visits
  • $0 co-pays for tier one preferred generic drugs at preferred pharmacies
  • No deductibles
  • $500 comprehensive dental allowance, as well as preventative dental, vision, fitness and hearing benefits and an allowance for Over The Counter items

Highmark has enhanced its Community Blue Medicare PPO Distinct plans with improvements to its medical, prescription, and supplemental benefits. Members will see a lower inpatient hospital stay, along with a reduced out-of-pocket. Primary care visits have a $0 copay, and specialist and physical therapy copays have been reduced. Community Blue Medicare PPO Distinct offers a wide array of supplemental benefits, which includes a $750 comprehensive dental allowance, vision, hearing, fitness benefits and an allowance for Over the Counter products. Members will have access to both in-network and out-of-network providers at home or while traveling elsewhere in the United States.

"Highmark has over twenty thousand members enrolled in zero dollar premiums plans," Miller noted. "Members enjoy the peace of mind of knowing they don't have to pay an additional monthly premium and have low out-of-pocket costs with no deductibles and limited co-pays."

In an effort to expand consumer choice and help control the rising cost of prescription drugs, Highmark has added new pharmacies and lowered the prices of many prescription drugs within its preferred pharmacy network. Highmark's preferred network includes over 1,700 locations across PA and close to 25,000 across the United States.

Highmark offers a wide range of Medigap Blue supplemental products that help fill in the gaps of Original Medicare by providing assistance paying for your share (i.e. deductibles, coinsurance and copayments) of the costs for Medicare-covered services. Medigap Blue also provides the freedom and flexibility to see any doctor or hospital in the United States that accepts Medicare. Additionally, members of Highmark Medigap Blue plans have exclusive access to the exciting new Whole Health Balance program, which provides extra coverage for routine hearing, vision, dental and fitness services, all of which are not covered by Original Medicare.

Highmark also offers standalone Blue Rx PDP prescription drug plans.

Detailed descriptions of all Highmark Medicare Advantage plans, including network and pricing are available at Shop.Highmark.com/Medicare.

ABOUT HIGHMARK BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD

Highmark Inc., doing business as Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, serves approximately 2.5 million members through the company's health care benefits business and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the BlueCard® program. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is the market leader in commercial market share, and through its affiliated Blue companies has strong Medicare Advantage market share as well. All of Highmark's Medicare Advantage plans in Pennsylvania received a Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services quality rating of 4.5 out of 5.0 stars. Every year, Medicare evaluates plans based on a 5-star rating system. In western Pennsylvania, its unaided brand awareness, brand preference and overall brand rating are significantly higher than its closest competitor. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield employs more than 4,000 people in western, north central and northeastern Pennsylvania. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield 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 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.

This information is not a complete description of benefits. Call the phone number on the back of your member ID card (TTY users may call 711) for more information.

Highmark Choice Company, Highmark Senior Health Company, and Highmark Senior Solutions 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, Highmark Senior Solutions Company, and HM Health Insurance Company depends on contract renewal. Highmark Blue Shield, Highmark Choice Company, Highmark Senior Health Company, Highmark Senior Solutions Company, and HM Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

For more information, contact:
Monica Lewis
Highmark Health
814-452-7271
Monica.Lewis@highmarkhealth.org