New York Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate to merge with Highmark

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Highmark Inc., parent of Delaware’s largest health insurer is adding a Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate operating in a portion of the state of New York.

The affiliation of Highmark . and HealthNow New York Inc. adds communities of western and northeastern New York to Highmark’s Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia regions.

“The objectives driving this affiliation are focused on our shared desire for better health solutions for HealthNow members that can increase customer and clinician engagement, create better health outcomes, manage costs and improve affordability,” said David Holmberg, chairman of Highmark. “This affiliation will also enable HealthNow to take advantage of Highmark’s resources, tools, and advanced technologies.”

Under the terms of the affiliation agreement, Highmark’s parent company, Highmark Health, will become the primary licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association for HealthNow’s eight-county Western New York and 13-county northeastern New York service areas, pending regulatory approvals and satisfaction of other closing conditions.

“This affiliation is good for the people and communities we serve. Highmark has a unique business model, organized around the principles of partnership between payers and providers,” said David Anderson, president and CEO of HealthNow. “In addition, Highmark has been a leader among the Blues and in the broader industry in developing new capabilities and innovative Blue Cross Blue Shield products from which our members and customers will benefit.”

Under the agreement

  • HealthNowwill maintain its headquarters in Erie County, NY, as well as its regional office in Northeastern New York/Albany County, New York.
  • HealthNow will be branded Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York and Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York.
  • Highmark will maintain jobs in the local affiliate’s market and work to minimize disruptive impacts on the local workforce.

“Highmark has a strong track record of successful relationships and affiliations with other Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies,” said Deborah Rice-Johnson, president of Highmark. “This affiliation will preserve the strong presence of a not-for-profit Blue organization that is committed to the health and vitality of the local communities it serves.”

Highmark has maintained jobs in Delaware, with a headquarters and other operations in downtown Wilmington.

Together, Highmark and HealthNow provide health insurance plans that serve nearly six million members. Both organizations have been recognized for maintaining strong service to their members and customers, and have a legacy of support to the community.

Highmark is the fourth-largest overall Blue Cross Blue Shield-affiliated organization in membership, Highmark Inc. with 5.6 million members in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia. Its businesses also include dental insurance and other related businesses.

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