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The blue arc in the currently changing healthcare landscape, Highmark's innovative approach and commitment to sustainable enterprise is boosting consumer confidence.

A healthcare insurer for families and businesses, Highmark has grown through the years from its beginnings in the 1930s as one of several predecessor companies. The company of today was created in 1996 when the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and Pennsylvania Blue Shield consolidated to create one of the largest health insurers in the United States.

Highmark has 20,500 employees nationwide and 5,000 in Pittsburgh, all of whom work in one of two main offices downtown on Fifth Avenue Place, beneath the blue spire bearing its name, and Penn Avenue Place. Revenues in 2009 were $13.7 billion, up from $13 billion in 2008 despite a membership decline due to the economy and job losses.

Anticipating the changes in healthcare legislation, Highmark shifted its focus to individual sales and service last year with the opening of the first retail insurance stores in the state. In the first year alone, the company's Ross and Mechanicsburg stores drew more than 20,000 visitors. Plans call for four additional stores to serve the company's 4.8 million customers.

Two of Highmark's products were selected among the best insurance plans in the country in 2009-2010 by U.S. News & World Report/National Committee for Quality Assurance's (NCQA) America's Best Health Plans. The company has received kudos for sustainable initiatives as well, from its LEED data center in Hershey to the green roof over its head on Fifth Avenue, which absorbs rainwater and reduces the company's energy consumption.

"Our health, and our need for health care, is always evolving," says Dan O'Malley, president of the Western Market. "Our members have told us that they want more information about their health insurance and how to stay healthy. That's why as a company, it's so important for us to continue to evolve and provide our members with the health information and services that they need now."

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Writer: Deb Smit
Source: Dan O'Malley, Kristin Ash; Highmark


Highmark
Website
Fifth Avenue Place, 120 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222-3099
412.544.7000
 
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