Highmark's new plan puts UPMC out of network

Highmark is re-launching a narrow network health plan that includes about 50 hospitals and 7,600 doctors and specialists but omits most UPMC doctors and facilities, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The new version of Highmark's Community Blue plan, which will be available in January, could offer premiums that are 25 percent lower than other Highmark plans with full access to UPMC's hospitals and doctors.

Although Highmark and UPMC have been entangled in a public dispute, Highmark officials say the ongoing fight didn't compel the insurer to create a health plan that excludes UPMC. This product "is not about Highmark vs. UPMC," said Deborah Rice, Highmark's president of health services. It's about "a high-quality and lower-cost health insurance plan." Article