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Thousands of Pennsylvania Graduates Need Health Insurance Options
Date:5/20/2009

Short-term health insurance coverage available from Highmark

PITTSBURGH, May 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Employers will hire 22 percent fewer college graduates in 2009 than they did last year, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. That means thousands of Pennsylvania college students graduating this spring may be without health insurance coverage due to unemployment or time elapsing before starting a new job.

Highmark, Pennsylvania's largest health insurer based on membership, can help those Pennsylvania college graduates without health insurance fill the gap in their health care coverage.

An answer for some graduates may be Short-Term Blue, a health insurance coverage option that can last up to 180 days. The medical expenses and services that are fully or partially covered through Short-Term Blue include inpatient and outpatient hospitalization; emergency room services; primary care physician and specialist office visits; x-ray, lab and other diagnostic testing; prescription drugs and more. The deductible for this product are $250, $500 and $1,000. A graduate at 25 with a $250 deductible will pay as low as $3.17 per day.

"A short-term health insurance product is a great option for graduates as it offers time-specific coverage for a reasonable cost," said Ken Cikovic, director of individual markets at Highmark. "We also offer a wide array of preferred-provider organization (PPO) programs that can help graduates get coverage for a lower monthly premium in the longer term as well."

PPO programs have varying deductibles and require evaluation of a potential member's medical history and include pre-existing condition clauses.

"We recognize that this can be a stressful and uncertain time for graduates, particularly in this difficult economy," said Cikovic. "Highmark is trying to make it easier for individuals to get the health insurance information that they need through one-on-one conversations with our health insurance experts. I'd encourage college graduates to visit one of our Highmark Direct health insurance stores to learn more about their health plan options as well."

Individuals can visit the following Highmark Direct locations Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. or visit www.highmarkdirect.com for more information.

    Highmark Direct Mechanicsburg      Highmark Direct Pittsburgh
    Silver Spring Square               McKnight Siebert Shopping Center
    6416 Carlisle Pike, Suite 1500     4885 McKnight Road
    Mechanicsburg, Pa.                 Pittsburgh, Pa.
    717-302-7900                       412-544-5400

About Highmark Inc.

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 4.6 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.


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SOURCE Highmark Inc.
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