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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

The author is paid for product endorsements and has an ownership or other financial interest in the businesses related to the topics covered.

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Highmark and Independence Blue Cross merger

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: What is your opinion of the proposed merger of Pennsylvania's Blue Cross companies?

A: It is not a good deal for PA residents. The Pennsylvania health insurance market would become an oligopoly if the planned merger between the state's two largest insurers is completed. Highmark Blue Cross and Independence Blue Cross have 27 percent and 28 percent of the state's health insurance. The merger would result in efficiency gains for the insurer but almost no one thinks that would translate to premium savings to customers. Doctors and hospitals oppose the merger; fearing the power that the single entity would exercise on payments for medical services. Physicians' groups also oppose the proposed merger.


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