Highmark and Geisinger reach accord that benefits Penn State employees

University Park, Pa. -- Penn State employees served by Geisinger physicians and facilities will be able to continue those services with coverage into the new year as part of the University’s benefits package.

Penn State administrators were notified within the last hour today (Dec. 16) that an agreement has been reached between the University’s health care administrator, Highmark Blue Shield, and the Geisinger Health System. All Geisinger providers will continue to be in the PPOBlue Network, the network that is used in Penn State’s health plan for all faculty and staff.

Penn State was notified about two weeks ago that Highmark and Geisinger had failed to come to an agreement for 2011, which potentially meant that Penn State employees using Geisinger services would either have to change to an in-network provider or pay a higher out-of-network cost for health care services with Geisinger. These contract negotiations not only affected Penn State employees, but all other Highmark accounts across Pennsylvania – affecting about 60,000 people.

“This is obviously very good news. We received an outpouring of response from our faculty and staff regarding this untimely situation, and we’re happy to report that Highmark and Geisinger have come to a resolution,” said Al Horvath, Penn State’s senior vice president for Finance & Business. “We understand how unsettling this was to Penn State faculty and staff, and I would like to personally thank everyone for their patience.”

Horvath explained that it was unfortunate University employees experienced some anxiety about the issue, but Pennsylvania law requires Highmark to notify members of the potential of a network provider discontinuing its network participation.

Employees with additional questions or comments, can e-mail the Employee Benefits Division at benefits@psu.edu or call 814-865-1473. Employees also can contact Highmark Blue Shield at 1-800-914-4384.


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Last Updated December 16, 2010