PITTSBURGH, April 25 /PRNewswire/ -- As one of Pennsylvania's leading health 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 many people, Highmark has released a new simple and easy-to-read self-help guide to give people a hand in identifying their health insurance options. "Because it is impossible to predict illness or injury, people need to have the right health insurance coverage to protect themselves and their families against extreme financial burden or hardship that accompanies unexpected medical bills," said Highmark's Director of Individuals Markets, Ken Cikovic. "National 'Cover the Uninsured Week' is providing an opportunity to continue the conversation in communities across our service area about the importance of having health insurance regardless of one's age or health status. And, we have a new resource available to help." A recent Highmark market study indicates that approximately 20 percent of Pennsylvanians under age 65 are uninsured. Of those uninsured, 38 percent are considered "chronically uninsured." This means they have not had insurance coverage for more than five years or are age 30 and above and never had insurance. Increased visibility during national "Cover the Uninsured Week" is giving Highmark an opportunity to focus on the needs of the uninsured and under-insured in order to change that statistic, lower the percentage and help people identify and secure the insurance coverage that's best for themselves and their families. Today, being uninsured is no longer a result of "being poor." While residents of both Western and Central Pennsylvania and in the Lehigh Valley cite employment issues and cost as primary reasons for going without insurance coverage, many people are simply unaware of what is available to them. Others believe that because they are young or healthy, they don't want or need health insurance coverage. Highmark's new "Self-Help Guide for the Uninsured" is now available to assist people in identifying the right health insurance coverage options for themselves and their families. Anyone can request a copy of the Guide by calling 1-866-488-7481 in Western Pennsylvania, or 1-866-697-4077 in Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. This publication describes the kinds of individual medically underwritten and guaranteed issue health insurance plans available through Highmark, low- and no-cost options for children's health insurance, and resources available through the Commonwealth and federal government. In addition, more information is also available by visiting Highmark online at http://www.highmark.com, (Select Find Insurance - Individuals & Families). About Highmark 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 http://www.highmark.com.
SOURCE Highmark Inc.