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This article is about the health insurance company. For other uses, see Highmark (disambiguation).
Highmark Inc.
Industry Healthcare, Insurance
Founded June 22, 1977 [1]
Headquarters Fifth Avenue Place
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Key people

David Holmberg, President & CEO

J. Robert Baum, Board of Directors
Products Health Insurance
Revenue Increase$14.78 billion (2011) USD
Number of employees
19,500 (2012)
Website www.highmark.com
Highmark's headquarters at Penn Avenue and Fifth Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Highmark is a not-for-profit healthcare 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 and also later Delaware. As Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, it primarily serves the 29 counties of western Pennsylvania. As Highmark Blue Shield it services 21 counties of Central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley[2][3]. There is also a presence in the border areas of eastern Ohio, and all of West Virginia through its subsidiary Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia. Highmark has a stake in the largest health insurer in northeastern Pennsylvania as well, Blue Cross of North East Pennsylvania BCNEPA. It is currently[timeframe?] one of the largest not-for-profit health insurers in the United States which owns several for-profit subsidiaries.

Company History[edit]

Highmark was created in 1977 and in the 1990s 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 Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania based in downtown Pittsburgh (now Highmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield). The consolidated group serves 49 of the state's 67 counties. In West Virginia, the company operates as Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia, and in Delaware, it operates as Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware. The new company based its head offices in downtown Pittsburgh and features greatly expanded services.

On March 28, 2007, Highmark announced it intended to consolidate with Independence Blue Cross of Philadelphia. The combination of the 2 insurers would have created a new company with over 18,000 employees, dual-headquarters in both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia and an economic impact of over $4 billion throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. On January 22, 2009, Highmark and Independence Blue Cross withdrew their applications to consolidate due to the unacceptability of conditions that the Pennsylvania Insurance Department was going to place upon the merger: to give up either of their well-known "Blue Cross" or "Blue Shield" trademarks. [1]

In 2011 the company announced it would buy the financially troubled West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS) for about $500 million.

Subsidiary Business[edit]

Highmark has several wholly owned for-profit subsidiaries:United Concordia Companies, Inc., a dental insurer; Davis Vision, a provider of managed care vision benefits; Visionworks of America, a vision retail provider offering frames, lens and accessories; and HM Insurance Group, a reinsurer providing stop-loss, limited benefit medical plans, worksite, life, disability, and administrative services.

Community Involvement[edit]

Highmark's Healthy High 5 Initiative is a pledge by Highmark of $100 million to help combat childhood obesity, and enable more individuals to live longer, healthier lives.[citation needed]

Highmark awarded a $25 million pledge to Penn State University so a new children's hospital can be built in Hershey, Pennsylvania.[citation needed]

In 2010, Highmark developed the Highmark Blue Shield Living Legacy Series to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The series includes oral histories from 150 Harrisburg residents, using the ground-breaking Digital Video Library (DVL) technology created and pioneered by Carnegie Mellon University. Among the Harrisburg 150 are Pedro Cortes (Pennsylvania's longest serving Secretary of State), Graham Hetrick (Dauphin County Coroner) and others.[citation needed]

Organizational Structure[edit]

Highmark Inc.

Individual and Family Plans[edit]

Highmark offers five personal plans to residents of Western Pennsylvania. They are PPOBlue, AdvancedBlue, SimplyBlue, DirectBlue and Community Blue. A temporary plan is also available. Comprehensive, high-deductible and short-term coverage can be purchased with many available deductible options.


  1. ^ Bill Toland (22 January 2009). "Health giants halt merger". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PG Publishing Co., Inc.). Retrieved 18 December 2014. 

External links[edit]