HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Earlier today, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department received an application filing from Highmark, Inc. which seeks department approval for the merger of Highmark and Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania.
"The highest priority in our review of this application is to see that consumers will be protected and the impacted health insurers remain financially strong and the market competitive," Insurance Commissioner Michael Consedine said, adding that the department's review process will be as transparent as possible. "Public input is an integral part of our evaluation and we encourage the public to review the filing and offer written comments. Additionally, we intend to host a public hearing in Northeastern Pennsylvania in an effort to understand any issues first-hand so that we have a full and robust public record."
The department will evaluate the proposal against a set of standards based in insurance law, including whether the transaction will lessen competition, produce new efficiencies, or be hazardous to the insurance-buying public. Standards also focus on financial solvency; the competence, experience, and integrity of company management; the fairness and reasonableness of any changes in business operations, as well as compliance with all other state laws.
The filing and related information will be available by close of business, Wednesday, Feb. 19, at www.insurance.pa.gov, by clicking on the "Blue Cross/Blue Shield Plans" icon. Public comments are invited and will be indexed and periodically posted on this site.
Media contacts: Rosanne Placey, Melissa Fox; 717-787-3289
Editor's Note: Interested parties who wish to offer a written comments should submit those to: Cressinda Bybee, Company Licensing Division, Insurance Department, 1345 Strawberry Square, Harrisburg, PA 17120, by fax to 717-787-8557, or via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Insurance