Highmark stabilizing despite loss of Independence deal

A few months ago, Highmark and Independence Blue Cross withdrew their long-planned application to merge when it became all but certain that state insurance regulators were going to quash it. That being said, Highmark is arguing that it's doing fine, given the overall economic circumstances--particularly a huge drop in investment income shared by healthcare organizations across the spectrum.

Highmark reported net income of $94.1 million in 2008, compared with $375.4 million in 2007, a big drop by any standards. On the other hand, The Pittsburgh-based health plan reported that while its net income fell during 2008 compared to 2007, operating revenue has stabilized. In fact, the company had total operating revenues of $13 billion in 2008, compared with $12 billion in 2007.

Nanette DeTurk, Highmark's executive vice president and chief financial officer, said in a recent statement that the company doesn't consider the losses to its investment portfolio to be a crushing blow, given that it has focused on being well-diversified and fairly conservative. She also noted that the recent losses don't represent a big portion of the company's assets.

To learn more about Highmark's performance:
- read this press release