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Announcing our strategic affiliation with Highmark

BlueShield of Northeastern New York is becoming Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New. York.

This partnership will allow us to continue to provide the strength, stability, and security our community needs for the next 85 years and beyond. We’ll maintain our local headquarters and strong community presence right here in Northeastern New York.

Our affiliation with Highmark will not impact your health plan coverage, ID number, benefits, or your trusted BlueShield customer service contacts.

Together, we’ll provide health insurance plans that will bring even more value and create better health solutions for our members.

Below, you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. If you are a member and have further questions, please call the number on the back of your ID card and we will be glad to help.

Highmark Northeastern NY logo

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What was announced and what does it mean?

  • BlueShield of Northeastern New York and Highmark Health announced the intention to affiliate in June 2020 to provide a sustainable health care and coverage model and improve the health of our communities. The affiliation has since been approved and is effective immediately. With this approved affiliation, we begin our path to forward to enhance member engagement, create better health outcomes, control costs and improve affordability for our members in Northestern New York

  • We have become an affiliate of Highmark, but our location and mission as a not-for-profit health plan will not change

  • It’s important for our members to know this will have no impact on their coverage through their plan year and will only enable us to offer greater value and service in the future

What does this mean for members?

  • This affiliation will bring many positive opportunities to our members in the future, but will not result in any immediate changes or disruption
  • We are committed to maintaining our strong local presence in our community, as a community-based, not-for-profit health plan, an employer and corporate citizen

Will my benefits change?

  • No, your benefits will remain the same throughout your plan year
  • Through this partnership, you will have access to greater health management tools, resources and products in the future

Will I need to change doctors?

  • No, your benefits will remain the same throughout your plan year
  • With both companies operating as licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, you will continue to have access to the Blue Cross Blue Shield network of doctors and hospitals in all 50 states

Can I now get care in Pennsylvania?

  • You can get care in Pennsylvania or throughout the country if your plan has benefits for out of area coverage.

Will I get a new member ID Card?

  • No, members will continue to use their current member ID card for the remainder of their plan year

Will the company change its name?

  • In the coming months, we will change our name to Highmark Blue Shield of Northeastern New York
  • There will be a time of transition where you will still see the name BlueShield of Northeastern New York

Will your company be relocated?

  • Highmark’s corporate headquarters building is located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania but we will continue to maintain our local headquarters and strong community presence in Northeastern New York

Who is Highmark?

  • Highmark is the fourth largest Blue plan in the nation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, serving 4.5 million members in western and northeastern Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware
  • Like our health plan, Highmark is a not-for-profit, mission-driven health care company with a similar culture and a strong track record of delivering exceptional coverage and service

Why are you doing this?

  • We have reached a critical point in our industry, where members, employers and providers – facing an increasingly uncertain health care environment and rising costs – are looking for new and innovative approaches to managing health care
  • The current time was ideal for us to expand our capabilities through Highmark’s resources, tools and advanced technologies
  • This affiliation will create better health solutions that can help control costs, increase customer and clinician engagement, create better health outcomes, and improve affordability

Did the pandemic have any impact on this decision?

Will there be any job losses?

  • Highmark has made a commitment to maintain a local headquarters and a strong presence in Northeastern New York

Will this impact premiums?

  • Premiums reflect the cost of care in the local markets we serve and will continue to reflect local claims costs
  • As we have throughout our history as a not-for-profit Blue plan, we will continue to target the underlying drivers of health care, and even more so with the power of Highmark behind us

What happens next?

  • We expect that full integration could take some time to complete, and so there will be no immediate changes for you.
  • This process is expected to take several months to complete
  • We continue to stay focused on serving our members while this work is underway


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