Highmark Announces New Coupon Program for Members with Chronic Health Conditions

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Highmark members, with chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes, will soon receive even more support and encouragement to lead a healthier lifestyle as they will be mailed coupons and recipes that will encourage healthier eating and lifestyle habits. The new program is the latest step by Highmark to have members become more engaged and responsible for their health.

"For years, we have offered programs that encourage our members to take an active role in their health care," said Steven Nelson, Highmark senior vice president of corporate marketing and consumerism. "A coupon program is another step that we can take to help our members find ways to lead a healthier lifestyle. It is estimated that 70 percent of today's illnesses are related to lifestyle and, therefore, preventable." More recently, the company has opened retail stores to meet members' needs as they seek insurance and launched an iPhone app so they can get health care information on the go.

Starting in mid-October, more than 75,000 members of targeted group customers, will be mailed coupons for Better-for-You foods, like whole grain rice, in addition to blood pressure monitoring devices and vitamin supplements. These coupons are part of a partnership with Linkwell Health. Helping health plans put healthier food options in front of their members, Linkwell Health empowers consumers to make better food choices that fit their lifestyle.

"Highmark has demonstrated a deep commitment to addressing cost containment and finding solutions within our health care system," said Benjamin Gardner, Linkwell Health president and CEO. "The Linkwell program provides simple, 'can-do' health and wellness solutions aimed at today's time-starved consumers."

Linkwell Health focuses on providing "Better-for-You" diet, health and wellness related alternatives to assist those with chronic conditions in making positive lifestyle changes that can be sustained. Linkwell Health knows that time and money factor into the equation. Providing coupons and fast, easy recipes for today's time-starved consumers, makes taking the first step toward healthier diet and exercise habits both approachable and doable.

About Highmark

As one of the leading health insurers in Pennsylvania, Highmark Inc.'s mission is to provide access to affordable, quality health care enabling individuals to live longer, healthier lives. Based in Pittsburgh, Highmark serves 4.7 million people through the company's health care benefits business. Highmark contributes millions of dollars to help keep quality health care programs affordable and to support community-based programs that work to improve people's health. Highmark exerts an enormous economic impact throughout Pennsylvania. A recent study states that Highmark's positive impact exceeded $2.5 billion. The company provides the resources to give its members a greater hand in their health.

Highmark Inc. is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

About Linkwell Health

Linkwell Health is the leading provider of lifestyle-driven wellness programs. Linkwell applies market insights from food purchasing data to design customized food couponing programs for health plans, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and employers. Founded in 2007, Linkwell Health is a privately owned company working with leaders in the health care industry. Linkwell Health offers analytics, branded materials and performance reporting to track the impact of healthy couponing on member populations both short and long term. For more information, please visit www.linkwellhealth.com.