Press Releases

Saturday, October 01, 2022

Highmark Medicare Products Make Care More Affordable - Allentown

  • 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 Part B givebacks on $0 premium plans to make Highmark plans even more affordable on some plans
  • Lowering premiums for the 5th year in a row for Freedom Blue PPO members
  • Waiving in-patient COVID related cost-sharing for the third year in a row
  • Locally based Medicare Advisors to guide shoppers through plan selection and enrollment and answer any questions

ALLENTOWN (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 Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania seniors,” said Alexis Miller, Government Business President. All of our plans offer $0 PCP visits, 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 affordability
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 popular plans like Community Blue Medicare 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 free transportation to medical appointments, allowances for over-the-counter items, and free home-delivered meals following an inpatient hospital stay.

Finally, Highmark recognizes that, sometimes, getting and staying healthy requires help.  That is why Highmark offers the Papa Pals program with select plans, where members have a $0 copay for up to 36 hours of additional support services such as transportation, respite care, and home visits. 

2023 Medicare Advantage products
Tim Clouse, vice president of Highmark Medicare & ACA Sales, recognizes the growing popularity of Medicare Advantage plans.  “Each year, more and more seniors in Pennsylvania choose a Medicare Advantage plan," said Clouse. “These plans offer premiums as low as $0, include valuable supplemental benefits like dental and vision coverage, and some even offer money back in your Social Security check each month.  And seniors in Medicare Advantage plans are more likely to get preventive care, which is key to staying healthy.”

In 2023, Highmark will provide more value to Medicare members with lower premiums and copays and expanded supplemental benefits.  Highmark will also launch a new plan to create a portfolio that better meets the needs of all consumers – a PPO designed with our nation’s veterans in mind.   The new Freedom Blue PPO Valor is a $0 premium plan that comes with a $60 Part B giveback, and 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, many of our $0 plans also offer enhanced supplemental benefits, including vision, comprehensive dental, hearing, and allowances for over-the-counter items.” said Clouse.  

The $0 premium Community Blue Medicare HMO Signature plan offers affordable access to high-quality care from local doctors and hospitals.  This plan also offers $0 copays on PCP, specialist, and physical therapy visits, as well as $0 preferred generic prescriptions at preferred pharmacies.  For 2023, to put some money back in our members’ pockets, Highmark is increasing the Part B giveback. 

For those consumers that want broad network access, Highmark offers two Community Blue Medicare PPO plans in the Lehigh Valley.  Not only do these plans provide access to doctors and hospitals across eastern and central Pennsylvania, but they also provide nationwide access to the BCBSA network.  Highmark’s Community Blue Medicare PPO Distinct plan comes with a $25 premium for members who want lower out of pocket costs for care.  In 2023, this plan will have reduced copays on several benefits including specialists, prescription drugs, inpatient hospital, and outpatient services. In addition, most benefits will have in-network copays that are the same as out-of-network copays to make sure costs are predictable for our members.   For the more premium-conscious consumer, Highmark’s Community Blue Medicare PPO Signature plan comes with a $0 monthly premium and a Part B giveback.  This plan features $0 PCP and lab copays.  Both plans include dental and over-the-counter allowances.

The Freedom Blue PPO plans benefit from lower premiums for the fifth year in a row, reduced urgent care and advanced imaging copays on many plans, plus valuable features to help members recover from serious illness like our post-discharge meal delivery service.

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.  Highmark also offers standalone Blue Rx PDP prescription drug plans.

For additional information, you can visit any of Highmark’s local Highmark Direct stores to discuss coverage options face-to-face with a personal Medicare advisor.  Hours and additional information is available at HighmarkDirect.com. Highmark Direct stores in the Lehigh Valley area are located at:

  • Allentown – 305 South Cedar Crest Boulevard. 484-763-3450
  • Easton – 3770 Dryland Way. 610-982-8658

Additionally, individuals can 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:

Anthony Matrisciano
Highmark Blue Shield
570-200-6310
anthony.matrisciano@highmark.com