Highmark looks to expand into northeastern PA

Written by The Associated Press | Feb 18, 2014 3:49 PM

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania's health insurance giant, Highmark, hopes to grow by adding Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania at a time both companies are adjusting to the federal health care law.

The companies announced they submitted a merger filing to the state Department of Insurance. Highmark has 4.3 million Pennsylvania customers while Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania has 550,000. 

Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine says he'll review the proposal to ensure that it protects consumers and maintains a competitive insurance market.  

In the meantime, a merger could open a new front for Highmark to compete in health care delivery. 

Highmark took over the financially troubled West Penn Allegheny Health System and has been looking to increase its provider network because the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center won't renew its reimbursement agreement.

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