Highmark's defined contribution platform supports small business and Medicare-eligible retiree health care choice

PITTSBURGH, Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Highmark announced today that it is expanding its defined contribution platform to support small business and Medicare-eligible retiree health care choice throughout its Pennsylvania service areas.

Through Array Health, a leader in health insurance exchange technology and services, Highmark's defined contribution platform gives employers the ability to set a monthly fixed dollar allowance for employees or Medicare retirees who use this money to go to an online insurance store to select from a menu of health plan and ancillary product options.

"Many employers tell us that they want predictability in their health care costs, and their employees and retirees tell us that they want coverage and choice," said Steven Nelson, senior vice president of health services strategy, product and marketing at Highmark. "The defined contribution platform offers both solutions at a time when employer and retiree health and ancillary coverage are at a crucial decision point in regard to health care reform: can we afford to offer it any longer?"

For small business customers, or those covering 10 to 99 individuals, myBenefits offers four predefined sets of its most popular medical plans, each with five medical options, including HSA-qualified and HRA options. These options provide a reasonable price spread to suit the needs of each business. In addition, employers have the ability to include three dental and two vision plans as well as critical illness and accident coverage.

For employers and unions offering traditional group retiree benefits, myRetireeBenefits provides an alternative that helps them manage retiree medical spending while giving their Medicare-eligible retirees the benefit of choice and security of Highmark's coverage and service. The platform provides Medicare-eligible retirees a choice of several group Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement plan options. In most cases, these plans are available to retirees nationwide. The retiree platform also utilizes a dedicated call center for decision support.

Highmark uses Array Health's insurance exchange platform that includes a Product Marketplace with decision support tools that make it easy for employees to compare, choose and enroll in plans that fit their specific health needs. It also includes an Administration Dashboard where employers and brokers can access all the information they need to administer the company's health benefits.

About Highmark Inc.

Highmark Inc., based in Pittsburgh, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. Highmark serves 4.9 million members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware through the company's health care benefits business and is one of the largest Blue plans in the nation. Highmark has 20,000 employees across the country and provides a broad range of health and wellness related services through subsidiary and affiliate companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

SOURCE Highmark