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Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield to Open 'Highmark Direct,' a Health Insurance Retail Store
Date:12/11/2008

First health insurer in Pennsylvania to open store in Pittsburgh's

McKnightSeibertShopping Center

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- As individuals and seniors are increasingly faced with purchasing health insurance on their own and small business owners look for health plan options, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield announced today that it will be the first health insurer in the state to open a health insurance retail store called Highmark Direct in the McKnight Seibert Shopping Center at 4885 McKnight Road.

Highmark Direct will sell health insurance plans to individuals, seniors and small businesses. The store will also provide informational seminars and educational information about the value-added benefits that Highmark members have access to, such as smoking cessation programs, new mother seminars, consultations with nutritionists and more.

"As the health insurance market becomes increasingly consumer-driven, health insurers are positioning themselves to meet growing demands for health insurance products and information through retail marketing channels," said Steven Nelson, vice president of consumerism and retail marketing at Highmark. "Through Highmark Direct, we want to give consumers a one-on-one experience with a retail representative in a retail setting so that we can provide clear and concise information to help them select the health insurance plan that is right for them and give them the tools to have a greater hand in their health."

According to a recent study from McKinsey & Company, a national consulting firm, consumers bear 25 percent - the same percentage as employers contribute - of the $2 trillion spent annually on health care.

"If consumers are going to be responsible for their health care, then they need to understand it," said Nelson. "Highmark knows that both purchasing and using health insurance is confusing. Between h
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SOURCE Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
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