Press Releases

Monday, April 27, 2020

Highmark introduces online tools to check COVID-19 symptoms; enhance customer service

Artificial Intelligence helps streamline customer inquiries related to COVID-19

PITTSBURGH (April 27, 2020) — Highmark has introduced two additional online tools to help all consumers find information on COVID-19 symptoms and find appropriate care, and help members find customer service resources.

As the pandemic began, Highmark relaunched its website, highmarkanswers.com, with up-to-date information on COVID-19 and details on what Highmark is doing for members, such as waiving out-of-pocket costs for testing and treatment, as well as tips on how to stay safe and get care, including telemedicine.

"To continue to offer simple, actionable answers to customer questions during this crisis, we are launching two additional tools intended to deliver timely and critical information to our member base," said Stacy Byers, vice president of Customer Experience for Highmark.

Highmark collaborated with the CDC Foundation and Microsoft to develop and launch the COVID-19 Symptom Checker Healthbot which saw more than 30,000 visitors in the first week on the highmarkanswers.com site. Additionally, the majority of visitors to the site are between the ages of 40 and 59.

Anyone can use the Healthbot to check their symptoms, which will then provide guidance on seeking appropriate medical care when necessary during the COVID-19 pandemic. "We wanted to make sure anyone — not just our members — could access the COVID-19 Symptom Checker because it is important during this time of uncertainty that people can find some answers and also some guidance on when to get care, and where to go for care," Byers said.

And according to Byers, more than 150,000 customers have accessed the highmarkanswers website since it's relaunch. To further assist those visitors, the company has added a virtual assistant — or “chatbot” — feature to the website to help answer member questions and route members to the right customer service resources. Chatbots are computer programs on websites that mimic conversation with people using artificial intelligence. Highmark's application will help answer questions about COVID-19 as well as benefits, coverage and networks.

"For our members, quick access to real-time information is more important than ever. The chatbot is intended to help members quickly get answers to the most pressing questions and route them to the right place for additional support," said Byers.

For more information, or to use the virtual assistant or symptom checker, visit highmarkanswers.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 more than 5.2 million members in Pennsylvania, Delaware, 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:
Anthony Matrisciano
Highmark Health
570-200-6310
anthony.matrisciano@highmark.com