Navigation Links
Insurance Department Will Hold Public Hearings on Proposed Consolidation of Highmark, Independence Blue Cross
Date:12/21/2007

Hearings will ensure consumers' interests are considered, protected

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To ensure the interests of consumers are protected, acting Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario today announced that the Insurance Department will hold public hearings during 2008 as part of its review of the proposed consolidation of Independence Blue Cross and Highmark Inc.

"Our highest priority is to see that consumers would be protected in any transaction of this type, so public input will be an integral part of the department's evaluation of the proposed consolidation," said Ario. "We will schedule public hearings across the state after we have gathered the necessary information and completed our initial analysis.

"With the full cooperation of Highmark and Independence Blue Cross, the public hearings could be held by early summer and a final decision could be rendered by the end of 2008."

If approved, the proposed consolidation would create one of the largest health insurers in the nation, with 2006 premiums in excess of $17.5 billion.

Ario noted that, to date, Highmark and Independence Blue Cross have answered 38 of the 71 questions the department sent to the companies in August.

"The department is analyzing information as it is received and intends to schedule public hearings after we have received and analyzed the companies' answers to all of our questions and conducted any necessary follow up, including an economic analysis of the Pennsylvania marketplace," he said.

The Insurance Department has engaged the services of The Blackstone Group to provide financial expertise in its review of the proposed consolidation of Independence Blue Cross and Highmark. In addition, the department has engaged the law firms of Wolf, Block, Schorr and Solis-Cohen and Hangley Aronchik Segal & Pudlin to provide legal expertise on the proposed transaction.

The Blackstone Group is a leading Wall Street firm with an insurance practice that has advised state regulators on three high profile Blue Cross Blue Shield transactions in recent years, including a 2005 New York sale of a converted Blue Plan to WellPoint, a transaction that was approved, and a 2003 Maryland conversion and 2004 Washington conversion that were both disapproved.

Wolf Block and Hangley Aronchick are Pennsylvania-based firms that have previously advised and represented various state agencies on a broad range of issues.

"With our financial and legal experts on board, we are ready to take a careful look at the impact this consolidation could have on market competition and the needs of the insurance-buying public," said Ario. "We'll also be assessing the proposed transaction against more specific standards addressing licensure, solvency, business plans and management experience."

The transaction applications, as well as the department's questions and numerous comment letters from interested parties, are available for review at http://www.insurance.state.pa.us and clicking on "Highmark/IBC Filing."

Interested parties who wish to offer a written comment may still do so by submitting their comments to: Robert Brackbill, Chief, Company Licensing Division, Insurance Department, 1345 Strawberry Square, Harrisburg, PA 17120, fax (717) 787-8557 or via e-mail at: rbrackbill@state.pa.us.

An index of all public comments and company responses to these comments is posted and periodically updated on the department's Web site.

CONTACT:

Rosanne Placey or

Melissa Fox

(717) 787-3289


'/>"/>
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Insurance
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Patients with Medicaid and those lacking insurance have higher risk of advanced laryngeal cancer
2. Insurance Impacts Laryngeal Cancer Detection
3. Record Number of Americans Lack Health Insurance
4. National Association of Subrogation Professionals (NASP), the Largest Insurance Subrogation Association in the World - Announced Today that Leslie Wiernik has Joined the Organization as Director of Education
5. CIGNA Group Insurance Shows Consumers Theres More to Life Through a New Consumer Education Toolkit
6. HealthInsuranceFinders.com Launches Video Contest for Young Directors
7. Dr. Allen Woolf Appointed Chief Medical Officer For CIGNA Group Insurance
8. International Gateway Insurance Brokers Partners With MEDILINQ
9. New AHIP Report Takes a Ten Year Look at the Unintended Consequences of State Efforts to Change the Insurance Market
10. ComPsych(R) Corp. Announces Health at Work(SM) Award Winners: Sprint, Erie Insurance, City of Naperville and Green Hills Public Library
11. Health Insurance Industry Contributions to Politicians Block Regulation, Affordability in Health Care Debate, Says FTCR
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... , ... TherapySites, the leading website and online ... Counseling Association. This new relationship allows TherapySites to continue to extend their ... benefits and promotional offers. , "TCA is extremely excited about this new partnership, ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... 27, 2016 , ... A revolution is underway. Brooklyn-based ... experience for the millions of people who require these medical transport services annually. ... through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has put forth an industry-changing app ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... Quality metrics are proliferating in cancer care, and are derived from many ... the beholder, according to experts who offered insights and commentary in the current issue ... the full issue, click here . , For the American Society of Clinical ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, ... editors can give their videos a whole new perspective by using the title ... Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... ... blind and certified personal trainer is helping to develop a weight loss fitness plan that ... the two major problems leading the fitness industry today:, , All ... They don’t eliminate all the reasons people quit their exercise program , ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 ... has announced the addition of the " Global ... This report ... provides an updated review, including its applications in various ... total market, which includes three main industries: pharmaceutical and ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Research ... World Market for Companion Diagnostic Tests" report to their ... Market for Companion Diagnostics The World Market ... and personalized medicine diagnostics. Market analysis in the report includes ... Test Market (In Vitro Diagnostic Kits) by Region (N. America, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  MedSource announced today that ... e-clinical software solution of choice.  This latest decision ... value to their clients by offering a state-of-the-art ... relationship establishes nowEDC as the EDC platform of ... full-service clients.  "nowEDC has long been a preferred ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: