Heart of Lancaster and Lancaster Regional Join Highmark Blue Shield Medicare Advantage Network

Thursday, January 31, 2008 General News
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LANCASTER, Pa., Jan. 30 Members of Highmark's FreedomBluePreferred Provider Organization (PPO) may now enjoy increased health careoptions. Effective immediately, both routine and emergency medical serviceswill be covered at Heart of Lancaster and Lancaster Regional hospitals.

"We're pleased to partner with Highmark and we're pleased to offerincreased options and high-quality health care to people with Medicare in thesurrounding areas," said J. Michael Cowling, CEO. "By covering health careservices under Highmark's FreedomBlue PPO product, Heart of Lancaster andLancaster Regional are better positioned to participate in every majorinsurance plan offered in our service area."

There are approximately 78,572 Medicare eligible residents residing inLancaster County served by the hospitals, according to a recent census.

"Medicare Advantage plans like FreedomBlue PPO are smart choices forpeople with Medicare because they offer expanded health care options thattraditional Medicare and Medicare Supplement plans do not," said CynthiaDellecker, Highmark's senior vice president for senior products. "FreedomBluePPO offers Medicare prescription coverage, disease management and wellnessprograms, such as exercise programs that add real value to our plans."

Highmark's FreedomBlue PPO allows members to receive care from any healthcare provider or facility they choose, in or out of Highmark's hospitalnetwork, as long as the provider accepts Medicare.

Since Heart of Lancaster and Lancaster Regional hospitals are now in thenetwork, services will now be paid at the highest level of coverage. Eligiblecare received out-of-network is reimbursed at a lower level, with theexception of emergency care and urgently needed care, which are always paid atthe higher level of benefits.

About Highmark Blue Shield

As one of the state's leading health insurers and with nearly 70 years ofcommunity involvement, Highmark Blue Shield helps members live longer,healthier lives by ensuring access to affordable, high-quality healthinsurance and services. Highmark offers the widest range of products, accessto area hospitals and knowledgeable, responsive customer services.

Highmark exerts an enormous economic impact throughout Pennsylvania. Arecent study states that Highmark's positive impact exceeded $2.5 billion.Highmark Blue Shield employs more than 5,000 people in Central Pennsylvaniaand provides the resources to give its members a greater hand in their health.

Highmark Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and BlueShield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue ShieldPlans. For more information about Highmark Blue Shield, visitwww.highmark.com.

SOURCE Highmark Blue Shield


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