|Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield To Open ‘Highmark Direct’
As individuals and seniors are increasingly faced with
purchasing health insurance on their own and small business owners look
for health plan options, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield said that it
will be the first health insurer in the state to open a health
insurance retail store called Highmark Direct in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Highmark Direct will sell health insurance plans to
individuals, seniors and small businesses. The store will also provide
informational seminars and educational information about the
value-added benefits that Highmark members have access to, such as
smoking cessation programs, new mother seminars, consultations with
nutritionists and more.
"As the health insurance market becomes increasingly
consumer-driven, health insurers are positioning themselves to meet
growing demands for health insurance products and information through
retail marketing channels," said Steven Nelson, vice president of
consumerism and retail marketing at Highmark. "Through Highmark Direct,
we want to give consumers a one-on-one experience with a retail
representative in a retail setting so that we can provide clear and
concise information to help them select the health insurance plan that
is right for them and give them the tools to have a greater hand in
According to a recent study from McKinsey & Company,
a national consulting firm, consumers bear 25 percent – the same
percentage as employers contribute – of the $2 trillion spent
annually on healthcare.
"If consumers are going to be responsible for their
healthcare, then they need to understand it," said Nelson. "Highmark
knows that both purchasing and using health insurance is confusing.
Between health insurance terminology, such as HMO, PPO and HSA, and
insurance usage requirements, such as co-pays, deductibles and
formularies, consumers are often confused and frustrated. That’s
where Highmark Direct can help."
Address: Highmark Inc., 120 Fifth Ave Pl, Pittsburgh, PA 15222; (412) 544-7000, www.highmark.com.