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Delaware approves new Blues affiliation

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 16, 2012

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Pittsburgh-based Blues plan Highmark will become parent to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware, following the Delaware insurance commissioner's approval of an affiliation agreement between the two companies.

Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart announced Dec. 30, 2011, that she had approved the deal with 49 conditions, including a requirement that the Blues give $3 million to subsidize Delaware's Children's Health Insurance Program. She also placed restrictions on any movement of more than $500,000 from the Delaware plan and limitations on any work force reductions at the Delaware Blues' offices.

The Delaware Blues plan had been struggling to afford needed investments in information technology. The plan said it needed access to Highmark's capital to better serve its approximately 400,000 members. Highmark has 4.8 million members in Pennsylvania, where it operates a Blue Shield-licensed plan, and in West Virginia, where it controls the state's Blues plan.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/01/16/bibf0116.htm.

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