With the current economic climate, individuals are looking for any way possible to save money on their bills. One major expense people have is health insurance and the cost of health insurance coverage can be one of the greatest expenses in a monthly budget for some individuals. However the cost of being uninsured could be catastrophic.
Rather than choosing not to purchase insurance, an individual should do the research to select the best policy for his family’s needs; whether coverage is obtained through an employer or purchased individually as a private policy, an understanding of how health insurance works can help provide a consumer with the tools necessary to get the best deal.
About Highmark Insurance
Highmark insurance serves the states of Pennsylvania and West Virginia as an independent licensee of Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which is one of the largest health insurance companies in the United States. Highmark offers indemnity and managed care plans to consumers, as well as offering Medicare supplements. The supplement policy can provide coverage to fill gaps of existing Medicare, provide additional benefits, or cover prescription drugs that would not normally be covered.
The company receives several awards every year; recently it has won an award for Workplace Fitness Innovation, as well as rewards from the American Heart Association and the America’s Health Insurance Plan group. Highmark is also involved in multiple charity organizations and programs promoting healthy habits and lifestyles.
Group Health Insurance
Highmark offers several different policy options for companies to choose from when providing group health plans. In addition to the standard PPO and HMO plans, Highmark offers a BlueChoice policy that allows the customer to choose his own plan. Costs will vary depending on the coverage selected, and some policies will require the use of in-network doctors. Highmark also provides vision insurance plans for use in group insurance.
Individual Medical Coverage Options
The Medicare Advantage plan Highmark offers is one of the largest in the country. By utilizing its connection to Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Highmark is able to extend supplemental Medicare part A, B, and D across Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and other parts of the United States. Individual coverage is available throughout Pennsylvania. Several policies are available with varying deductibles and premiums:
- Temporary Insurance: Used to provide coverage during gaps between insurance policies, such as when transitioning into a new job or for recent graduates who can no longer receive benefits from their parents. Policies are available with deductibles of $250, $500, or $1,000.
- Complete Care Policies: Designed to be affordable, these are high-deductible PPO plans. Deductibles range from $1,200 to $3,500. For a somewhat higher cost, a consumer can choose a lower deductible DirectBlue plan with a deductible of $250 or $500.
- Keystone HMO: The HMO plan has no deductible except for prescription drugs, and also includes low co-pays. Because it is an HMO plan, the insured has a limited choice of doctors and some treatments may not be covered.
Choosing to work with a doctor inside the preferred network will result in the lowest healthcare costs. Generally, most policies that cover out-of-network claims will require the insured to pay 20% of the costs of healthcare once the deductible has been met, up to the pre-determined out-of-pocket maximum. The more affordable policies will have higher deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums than those with higher monthly premiums. Additionally, more restrictive policies that work with a smaller network of doctors will often have lower premiums. If you’re looking to save money on your Highmark health insurance policy, you might consider changing to a different type of policy that will suit your family’s needs.
Additionally, families with a documented financial need may be able to receive special low-income policies. If you qualify for certain state aid programs, you can receive low-cost health insurance through Highmark.
Pre-Existing Condition Coverage
Highmark does not automatically exclude patients with preexisting conditions, but there may be a waiting period of several months before the insured is able to use coverage for any preexisting condition. In some situations, such as when obtaining temporary insurance, preexisting conditions may be excluded but any future medical concerns would be covered.
As the largest private insurer in Pennsylvania, Highmark is a versatile and affordable choice for many individuals in the covered area. Due to the relatively small area serviced by the company, it may not be available to everyone who wants it, but Blue Cross/Blue Shield companies are available nearly everywhere and may provide similar coverage in different parts of the country. Whether receiving Highmark health insurance through your employer-provided group plan, or searching for a quote for affordable health insurance online, it’s worth investigating Highmark policies as an option for your family’s health insurance.
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