Links to reports and articles about the proposed merger of the health-care insurance companies

Jan. 23, 2009: At public hearings in Philadelphia in July, Independence Blue Cross chief executive Joseph A. Frick and Highmark Inc. chief executive Kenneth Melani objected strongly to Insurance Department Commissioner Joel Ario's suggestion that they relinguish the use of one of their popular "Blue" trademarks to another insurance company so there would be more competition in the state. Here is the transcript of that exchange (.pdf).

Highmark's Web site about the merger is here.

Independence Blue Cross' Web site about the merger is here

The Pa. Insurance Department's Web site on the merger is here.

Documents filed with the Pennsylvania Insurance Department show the expected pay packages for the top executives. For instance, Kenneth Melani, the chief executive of Highmark, who is expected to have the same job at the combined companies, would get a 31 percent raise, to $3.9 million from $2.97 million in total pay, according to the documents. Read the report.

Coverage from The Inquirer:

What can happen if Blues compete (June 9, 2008)
A look at the Lehigh Valley, where two "Blues" - Capital Blue Cross and Highmark Inc. - fight for market share.  Read the article

Highmark CEO foresees merger benefits out of state (
July 4, 2008)
Merger benefits go beyond the state of Pennsylvania, Highmark's CEO says. Read the article

Administrator warns about insurance merger (July 16, 2008)
If the merger occurs, will best practices be catching or will the worst be contagious? Read the article

What's at stake (July 13, 2008)
An intro to the hearings showed what was at stake for several different groups. Read the article

The man who will make the decision (July 21, 2008)
Q&A with Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario. Read the article

Top salaries key to approval of Blues merger (Dec. 2, 2007)
The question from the Pennsylvania deputy insurance commissioner could not have been more detailed: The top executives of the state's two largest Blue Cross plans had to disclose every last nuance about their future pay as Independence Blue Cross and Highmark Inc. pursue a merger. Read the article

Senate panel: Set limits on merged Blues (Nov. 19, 2008)

If Pennsylvania’s insurance commissioner approves the proposed merger between Independence Blue Cross and Highmark Inc., he should impose a raft of conditions designed to limit their market power, says the Republican-led Senate Banking and Insurance Committee in draft resolutions scheduled for a vote Nov. 20. Read the article

Senate panel recommends against insurers' merger (Nov. 21, 2008)

The Pa. Senate Banking and Insurance Committee voted yesterday to recommend that Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario turn down the proposed merger. Read the article