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Highmark and Independence Blue Cross CEOs Say Combination of Highmark and Independence Blue Cross will Provide $1 Billion in New Resources Over Six Years
Date:7/8/2008

Will Not Reduce Competition and Will Help to Lower Health Care Costs,

Increase Access and Strengthen the Pennsylvania Economy

PITTSBURGH, July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The chief executives of Highmark and Independence Blue Cross (IBC) testified here today at the first Pennsylvania Insurance Department public hearing about the combination of the two companies, saying that it will be good for customers, health care providers, and the communities the two organizations serve -- and would not reduce competition.

Kenneth R. Melani, M.D., president and chief executive officer of Highmark, said, in part, "The proposed transaction will not reduce competition or choice in any market in Pennsylvania. Simply put, the two companies and their Pennsylvania insurance subsidiaries do not compete with each other."

"Highmark offers commercial health insurance products in western and central Pennsylvania and IBC serves the five southeastern Pennsylvania counties," Joseph A. Frick, IBC's president and chief executive officer said, in part. "However, in our separate markets, the two companies today compete against a wide range of other health insurers, but not against each other."

Dr. Melani said, "We believe this transaction will allow us to build on our history and lay a foundation for significant, tangible impact in the way health care is delivered and paid for in Pennsylvania."

"We believe this transaction offers a pathway to positive change in our health care system that Pennsylvanians are seeking and demanding," said Mr. Frick. "Like many other businesses, we face strong competition every day. We are trying to develop and grow our workforce. We are trying to meet the changing needs of our customers."

Prior to making their comments, both CEOs thanked the Pennsylvania Insurance Department for holding the hearings, and welcomed the opportunity to discuss the proposed combination in Pittsburgh and over the coming days in Harrisburg a
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SOURCE Independence Blue Cross
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