Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield
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UPDATED: Aug 20, 2020
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Company History: Highmark’s predecessors, Pennsylvania Blue Shield and the Blue Cross plan in Western Pennsylvania, were founded in the 1930’s. In 1996, they were consolidated to create one of the largest health insurance companies in the U.S.Highmark Inc. (which in 2007 announced plans to merge with Independence) offers Blue Cross and Blue Shield coverages to about 4 million people in central and western Pennsylvania as well as in the Lehigh valley. It also operates in other areas of Pennsylvania through partnerships with other insurers and provides administrative and network access services nationally. In all it serves 50 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. In 1996, Highmark purchased West Virginia’s largest health insurer (Mountain State Blue Cross Blue shield). In West Virginia, Highmark sells Medicare supplement and prescription drug plans to seniors. Highmark has other subsidiaries not operating under Blue Cross or Blue Shield licenses that provide dental insurance, vision care and other products and services nationwide. Highmark utilizes multiple distribution channels to sell its products. These include an internal sales force, independent agents and brokers, and partnerships with other insurance carriers.Highmark Inc. resulted from the 1996 merger of Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania with Pennsylvania Blue Shield. Highmark’s West Virginia operation offers Blue Cross and Blue Shield services to all 55 counties of West Virginia and one county in Ohio. In addition to its not-for-profit operations, Highmark has a downstream holding company, HM Insurance Group, that is licensed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and that provides various life insurance, property-casualty insurance, dental insurance, vision and eye care and other products and services including some for-profit ventures.Independence Blue Cross is a nonprofit corporation in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It provides coverages to individuals in the Philadelphia area (Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties). It also provides coverage through group plans. Independence and its subsidiaries cover more than 3.6 million people. Independence health benefits are offered under contracts with members through hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and other organizations. Independence contracts with providers of health care to provide health services to members and also performs administrative services such as billing, collection, and marketing for Highmark Blue Shield and processes claims for other Blue Cross plans’ members and for programs such as the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program and the BlueCard Program. Independence participates in various arrangements to provide Major Medical and Comprehensive Major Medical benefits. The Company offers its Preferred Provider Organization and Point-of-Service programs in Pennsylvania through its wholly owned subsidiary, QCC Insurance Company. The Company provides health insurance to New Jersey residents through AmeriHealth Insurance Company of New Jersey and to Delaware residents through AmeriHealth Insurance Company. Health insurance is provided by the Company for Puerto Rico residents through its 83.6% owned subsidiary, La Cruz Azul de Puerto Rico, Inc. Independence provides workers’ compensation claims management services and third-party administrative services through CompServices, Inc. and AmeriHealth Administrators, Inc., respectively. In addition, the Company provides HMO coverage through its wholly owned subsidiaries, AmeriHealth HMO, Inc. and Keystone Health Plan East. The Company participates in providing hospitalization and medical/surgical coverages through Inter-County Hospitalization Plan, Inc. and Inter-County Health Plan, Inc., which are jointly owned subsidiaries. Through its 93% owned subsidiary, NewSeasons Assisted Living Communities, Inc., the Company acquires, constructs, owns, and operates assisted living facilities. A low cost student health plan is also available from Independence.
Principle Sales Methods: Career and independent agents and brokers.Also partnerships with other insurance carriers.
Special Business: Through its non-Blue branded subsidiaries, Highmark offers a variety of specialty products nationwide, including dental, vision, life and casualty insurance.