PITTSBURGH, June 23, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the United Steelworkers (USW) announced that Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield will remain the health insurance provider for its staff personnel and for those Steelworkers who are covered by Highmark through various USW- sponsored plans.
"It was an easy decision to keep covering our staff, their families and our members who rely on Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield," said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. "We are not going to let UPMC push us into irrational decisions when it comes to choosing a health insurance provider, especially when we are receiving outstanding service from Highmark. Quite simply, we look to provide our people with the best health insurance services available."
Gerard noted the union's longstanding relationship with Highmark and his duty as the international president to ensure fiscal responsibility in decisions about health care benefits for both active and retired USW members and the union's staff.
The USW also believes that members of the Pittsburgh community deserve access to all health care facilities in the region, regardless of their insurance carrier. The hospitals in the UPMC system were built by and for the community with tax dollars and community contributions.
"We certainly hope that Highmark and UPMC will reach an agreement, but if UPMC chooses continue its price gouging proposals and to eliminate affordable in-network access to Highmark members, we are prepared to take our health care needs elsewhere," said Gerard. "Our union stands behind the high-quality customer service and reliability of Highmark and will continue to do so."
The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors. For more information: http://www.usw.org/.