; Highmark Introduces Interactive Tool To Help Employers Prepare For Decisions In Era Of Health Care Reform
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Press Release

Highmark Introduces Interactive Tool To Help Employers Prepare For Decisions In Era Of Health Care Reform

January 31, 2013

PITTSBURGH – For employers, the Affordable Care Act adds new regulations, new costs and new complexity to the job of determining employee health insurance coverage beginning in 2014.

Highmark is responding with the "Highmark Health Care Reform Planner," an interactive tool that helps Highmark customers consider their range of coverage options under reform. The four-step planner creates a unique profile using client-specific data and workforce priorities; presents the key impacts of reform; and models a client's coverage options and costs. Ultimately, the planner generates a valuable summary report.

"The Health Care Reform Planner is one of the many ways that Highmark is helping our customers adapt to the new reform-era marketplace," said Vik Mangalmurti, Highmark's vice president of health care reform. "Employers need help getting through the many changes. This sophisticated planner models various health plan strategies that will enable employers to offer an affordable, competitive benefits package that's right for their business, for their employees and for the times."

Among the specific variables that the planner considers are the Affordable Care Act's new employer requirements and penalties, the individual mandate to purchase health insurance coverage, fees and taxes under reform and available coverage solutions — including Highmark's newest health benefits financing and network solutions such as defined-contribution models and select-network plans that can help employers control costs while offering high-quality coverage.

"Larger group customers may need substantially more lead time for making health coverage decisions for 2014," said Mangalmurti. "We're ready to help them get the process underway now — with the benefit of the Health Care Reform Planner."

Group customers who are interested in better understanding their 2014 health coverage options and are interested in the new planner can contact their Highmark client representative.

Highmark developed the Health Care Reform Planner as a tool for large group customers to navigate health care reform with technical support from SDLC Partners based in Pittsburgh.

Highmark also offers a comprehensive website that tracks reform at www.highmarkonhealthreform.com

About Highmark
Highmark Inc. is a national diversified health and wellness company based in Pittsburgh that serves 34.4 million people across the United States through its businesses in health insurance, dental insurance, vision care, information technology and integrated health care delivery. The company, which has more than 20,000 employees, is among the largest health insurers in the U.S. and the fourth-largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated company. Highmark operates health insurance plans in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia that serve 4.9 million members.

The company also offers health and wellness products to clients with employees throughout the country and is a recognized leader in reinsurance. In addition, Highmark operates more than 600 optical retail stores (Visionworks) and four U.S.-based eyewear manufacturing facilities. Highmark is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

About SDLC Partners
SDLC Partners, L.P., headquartered in Pittsburgh, opened its doors in 2004 as the business-minded, tech-savvy, people-driven alternative to large consulting organizations. The firm's 350 employees deliver process improvement, analytics and technology solutions to Fortune 1000 and mid-market customers by effectively working with business and I.T. to serve as the "execution partner of choice" for improving speed to market, reducing costs and enhancing quality. SDLC's health care solutions and tools seamlessly link business and technology to improve the quality of patient care, reduce costs, improve operational performance and support revenue growth. For more information, visit SDLC's website at sdlcpartners.com.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 105 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.