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Highmark, Inc.
Type Private Not-For-Profit
Founded 1996 by Merger
Headquarters Flag of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.svg Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Key people Dr. Kenneth R. Melani, President and CEO
Industry Insurance
Products Health Insurance
Revenue $6.8 billion USD
Employees 11,800
Highmark's headquarters at Penn Avenue and Fifth Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Highmark is a health insurance company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. It is the largest health insurer in Pennsylvania, and through a purchase in 1996, the largest health insurer in West Virginia. It primarily serves the western and central parts of Pennsylvania, some areas of eastern Ohio, and all of West Virginia, although it has recently purchased a 40% stake in the largest health insurer in northeastern Pennsylvania as well. It is currently one of the largest not-for-profit health insurers in the United States which owns several for-profit subsidiaries.


Company history

Highmark was created in 1996 by the consolidation of two Pennsylvania licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association — Pennsylvania Blue Shield (now Highmark Blue Shield) based in suburban Harrisburg, and Veritus, a Blue Cross plan in western Pennsylvania (now Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield). The consolidated group now serves 49 of the state's 67 counties. In West Virginia, the corporation took over the former Mountain State Blue Cross/Blue Shield. The new company based its head offices in Downtown Pittsburgh and features greatly expanded services.

Subsidiary Business

There are several wholly-owned for-profit subsidiaries of Highmark. These include United Concordia Companies, Inc., a dental insurer, DVSC, Inc., provider of administrative services for group and individual vision care coverages, Davis Vision, a provider of managed care vision benefits, Viva, a designer and distributor of eyeglass frames and sunglasses, HM Insurance Group, a reinsurer providing stop-loss, limited benefit medical plans, worksite, life, disability, and administrative services, EBDS a Third Party Benefit Administrator and Highmark Medicare Services, a division of Highmark which processes Part A and B Medicare claims.

Community involvement

Highmark is most notably mentioned for its Healthy High 5 Initiative - a pledge by Highmark of $100 million to help combat childhood obesity, and enable more individuals to live longer, healthier lives.

Highmark has consistently contributed charitably to organizations throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Highmark awarded a $25 million pledge to the Penn State University so a new children's hospital can be built in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Consolidation with Independence Blue Cross

On March 28, 2007, Highmark announced that it intends to consolidate with Independence Blue Cross of Philadelphia. The combination of these insurers would create a new company with over 18,000 employees, with dual-headquarters in both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The new company would have an economic impact of over $4 billion throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If necessary regulatory approvals are achieved, Kenneth R. Melani would remain Chief Executive Officer of the new company, and Joseph A. Frick, Independence Blue Cross's current President & CEO, would become the President & Chief Operating Officer. The merger is being organized by James M. Klingensmith, Sc.D., Executive Vice President of Health Services for Highmark. The intended name for the combined entity is Highmark-Independence.

On January 22, 2009, Highmark and Independence Blue Cross withdrew their applications to consolidate. This was due to the unacceptability of conditions that the Pennsylvania Insurance Department was going to place upon the merger[1].



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