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Highmark Helps Those in Need During 'Cover the Uninsured Week'

Saturday, April 26, 2008 General News J E 4
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PITTSBURGH, April 25 As one of Pennsylvania's leadinghealth insurers, Highmark Inc.'s mission is to provide access to affordable,quality health care enabling individuals to live longer, healthier lives.Since navigating the insurance maze can be burdensome or confusing to manypeople, Highmark has released a new simple and easy-to-read self-help guide togive people a hand in identifying their health insurance options.

"Because it is impossible to predict illness or injury, people need tohave the right health insurance coverage to protect themselves and theirfamilies against extreme financial burden or hardship that accompaniesunexpected medical bills," said Highmark's Director of Individuals Markets,Ken Cikovic. "National 'Cover the Uninsured Week' is providing an opportunityto continue the conversation in communities across our service area about theimportance of having health insurance regardless of one's age or healthstatus. And, we have a new resource available to help."

A recent Highmark market study indicates that approximately 20 percent ofPennsylvanians under age 65 are uninsured. Of those uninsured, 38 percent areconsidered "chronically uninsured." This means they have not had insurancecoverage for more than five years or are age 30 and above and never hadinsurance. Increased visibility during national "Cover the Uninsured Week" isgiving Highmark an opportunity to focus on the needs of the uninsured andunder-insured in order to change that statistic, lower the percentage and helppeople identify and secure the insurance coverage that's best for themselvesand their families.

Today, being uninsured is no longer a result of "being poor." Whileresidents of both Western and Central Pennsylvania and in the Lehigh Valleycite employment issues and cost as primary reasons for going without insurancecoverage, many people are simply unaware of what is available to them. Othersbelieve that because they are young or healthy, they don't want or need healthinsurance coverage.

Highmark's new "Self-Help Guide for the Uninsured" is now available toassist people in identifying the right health insurance coverage options forthemselves and their families. Anyone can request a copy of the Guide bycalling 1-866-488-7481 in Western Pennsylvania, or 1-866-697-4077 in CentralPennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. This publication describes the kinds ofindividual medically underwritten and guaranteed issue health insurance plansavailable through Highmark, low- and no-cost options for children's healthinsurance, and resources available through the Commonwealth and federalgovernment.

In addition, more information is also available by visiting Highmarkonline at http://www.highmark.com, (Select Find Insurance - Individuals &Families).

About Highmark

As one of the leading health insurers in Pennsylvania, Highmark Inc.'smission is to provide access to affordable, quality health care enablingindividuals to live longer, healthier lives. Based in Pittsburgh, Highmarkserves 4.6 million people through the company's health care benefits business.Highmark contributes millions of dollars to help keep quality health careprograms affordable and to support community-based programs that work toimprove people's health. Highmark exerts an enormous economic impactthroughout Pennsylvania. A recent study states that Highmark's positive impactexceeded $2.5 billion. The company provides the resources to give its membersa greater hand in their health. Highmark Inc. is an independent licensee ofthe Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent BlueCross and Blue Shield Plans. For more information, visithttp://www.highmark.com.

SOURCE Highmark Inc.
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