PA Blues call off long-awaited merger

Unhappy with the terms state regulators were poised to impose, two of Pennsylvania's largest Blue plans have called off their plan to merge after more than a year of discussions.

Highmark and Independence Blue Cross have said that they withdrew their application to merge when it became clear that the state insurance department wasn't going to give the deal the thumbs-up, at least not without posing requirements that they weren't willing to accept. Specifically, the two were going to have to give up the right to market using either the Blue Cross or Blue Shield brand.

Given the Blues' reluctance to meet the state's terms, Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario was planning to issue an order denying the merger on January 27, the department said.

To learn more about the deal's failure:
- read this Modern Healthcare article (reg. req.)

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