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Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield

United States is currently seeing better days as far as health insurance is concerned since the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association has made it a point to provide comprehensive health coverage. Equally responsible for improving health coverage are the independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Among them Highmark is one of the most well- known companies. It serves a number of areas in northern and central Pennsylvania, West Virginia and a few parts of Ohio. Recently, by making a vital purchase, Highmark has also gained rights to provide health coverage to the northeastern part of Pennsylvania. The Highmark headquarters stands tall in Pittsburgh with about 12, 000 employees working under it.

The history of the organization is not ancient compared to many of its competitors. It dates back to 1996 when Highmark grew out of the union of two bodies. Both these bodies happened to be licensees under the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association- Pennsylvania Blue Shield and Veritus. While the former is now commonly known as Highmark Blue Cross the latter has the name of Highmark Blue Cross/ Blue Shield. Veritus was a plan restricted to the western parts of Pennsylvania. After the consolidation the activities of the organization increased furthermore, so much so that it currently serves 50 out of 67 counties in Pennsylvania.

Though Highmark in itself is a not- for- profit organization the subsidiaries under it operate entirely upon profit- making motives. There are six subsidiaries providing services in varying areas- Davis Vision that provides managed care in the area of vision; HM Insurance Group that provides stop loss benefits; Viva that manufactures and design frames and sunglasses; United Concordia Companies Inc. that provides dental insurance; DVSC Inc. that manages administrative tasks wit regards to individual and group vision insurance; and Highmark Medicare Services that is responsible for processing Medicare claims.

Like most other Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association licensees, Highmark too provides health coverage in several categories, namely, individual, group, family and company. The individual plans come in four varieties that include the PPOBlue, CompleteCare, DirectBlue and KeyStoneBlue. The PPOBlue plan also comes in a family package and is best availed by those who have adequate financial stability. On the other hand CompleteCare is perfect for people who want greater flexibility as far as annul deductibles are concerned. Signing up for DirectBlue means paying up greater premium and enjoying increased coverage at the same time. KeyStoneBlue, amongst all the four, is the highest on benefits and deemed reliable by many.

Throughout its existence, Highmark has always actively contributed to social causes. The most notable in this category is perhaps their High 5 initiative. An effort by the organization worth $100 million, the High 5 initiative was taken to battle the alarming rise of obesity in young children. Apart from this, Highmark is involved in a number of other charitable causes as well.


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