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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: May 26, 2009
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 their health."

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.


  This article was taken from:
The Executive Report on Managed Care

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