Highmark names veteran health insurance exec to head planned expansion in Philly area

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Highmark Blue Shield named veteran executive Dan Tropeano as the organization’s first ever southeastern Pennsylvania segment president.

Highmark plans to offer health insurance options in southeastern Pennsylvania starting in 2024 including Medicare Advantage, Medicaid dual eligible, Individual Affordable Care Act, small group Affordable Care Act, large group fully insured, large group self-insured in 2024 and 2025, subject to regulatory filings.

Highmark is the largest health insurer in neighboring Delaware, western Pennsylvania and other areas, but offered fewer insurance products in the nearby Philadelphia market, which is dominated by Independence Blue Cross.

Tropeano joins Highmark after 15-plus UnitedHealth Group that included serving as its Pennsylvania-Delaware president. Most recently, he served as senior vice president and general manager of pharmacy benefit management company OptumRx, a UnitedHealth subsidiary.

“As Highmark Blue Shield, we’ve historically been a statewide company and the only Blue Shield licensee in Pennsylvania,” said Tom Fitzpatrick, senior vice president, Commercial Business.  “The continued evolution of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association provides us a unique opportunity to enter into new markets and expand our presence in the markets where we already operate. This is a win for clients, members, brokers and providers in the five-county Southeastern Pennsylvania region, who will benefit by having greater choice of high-quality health coverage as well as new solutions to make the health insurance experience better.” 

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“We have a long and successful history in southeastern Pennsylvania through our diverse portfolio of businesses, including United Concordia Dental, HM Insurance Group, the Federal Employee Program, and Medicaid,” Fitzpatrick said. “We’re building on that work and expanding our existing relationships to deliver better health outcomes and value to all stakeholders across the Commonwealth. Dan has a proven track record of success in this region, is known to many in the industry, and is a resident of southeastern Pennsylvania. We are very excited to have him lead our efforts.”

Earlier, Blue Cross associations, including Highmark agreed to a $2.67 billion class action settlement over allegations of antitrust activity by staying out of their respective territories. The Blue Cross associations denied wrongdoing, but agreed to the settlement, arguing that their territorial approach held down insurance costs.

Blue Cross associations cannot compete with one another with Blue Cross-branded insurance, but have sometimes set up separate companies that offer health insurance products outside their territories. Independence Blue Cross has offered services under the Amerihealth name in the region.

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