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Press Release

Highmark Announces Small Employer Clients Can Keep Existing Health Insurance Coverage

April 24, 2014

PITTSBURGH – Almost 200,000 people stand to benefit as Highmark Inc. announced today that small employer business clients will be able to keep their current health insurance plans. This means customers with renewal dates between July and December 2014 will be able to delay for at least another year having to enroll in potentially costlier health plans that reflect new 2014 requirements of the Affordable Care Act.

"Highmark appreciates the crucial role that small businesses play, serving as the backbone of the communities we serve," said Deborah Rice-Johnson, president of Highmark Health Plan. "Enabling these small employer customers to stick with their current plans reflects our commitment to work with these important clients so that we can continue to provide affordable health coverage for their employees."

The federal government announced last month that health insurers — with approval from their state insurance commissioners — could offer small employer customers the option to renew existing plans beyond 2014. The Pennsylvania Insurance Department subsequently said it was up to individual insurers to decide if they want to offer existing clients the option to renew their pre-Affordable Care Act plans.

"We expect the majority of our small employer clients to stay with their current plans, but Highmark offers a wide variety of plans that are compliant with the Affordable Care Act and meet the needs of our members," said Rice-Johnson. "Some of these plans are built on a broad network and some are built on our Community Blue network, where members have a greater opportunity for cost savings when they use a select network of high-quality, lower-cost providers. But at this time, we understand that it may make sense for some of our small employer customers to stay with their current plans. We are offering them greater choice by giving them the option to stay in those plans."

Whether small employer businesses choose to renew their current plans or opt to purchase new plans that reflect new 2014 requirements of the Affordable Care Act, renewal rates will vary based on the insured group.


About Highmark Inc.
Highmark Inc. is among the largest health insurers in the United States and the fourth-largest Blue Cross and Blue Shield-affiliated company. Highmark and its diversified businesses and affiliates operate health insurance plans in Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia that serve 5.2 million members. Its diversified health businesses serve group customer and individual health needs across the United States through dental insurance, vision care and other related health businesses. Highmark is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 106 million members members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.