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Westmoreland County public schools consortium to stick with Highmark

| Thursday, June 26, 2014, 1:11 a.m.

Health insurer Highmark Inc. picked up a commitment on Wednesday from about 12,000 of its members to stick around after they lose in-network access to UPMC at the end of the year.

Westmoreland County Public School Health Care Consortium said it will keep Highmark as its health insurance carrier for the nearly 12,000 school employees and dependents covered under the consortium's health plan.

“The Consortium determined that not only was it the right financial decision for the group to remain with Highmark, but it also enabled its members to stay with a health plan they have come to depend upon for great service,” according to a statement.

Highmark, the state's largest health insurer, has persuaded several large employers in Western Pennsylvania to remain with it through next year by offering discounted premiums and fees.

Others to announce similar decisions include two other school consortiums, Allegheny County and the United Steelworkers union.

To keep full in-network access to UPMC's network of hospitals and doctors after Dec. 31, insurance customers will have to buy plans from UPMC Health Plan, Aetna Inc., Cigna Corp. or United Healthcare.

Alex Nixon is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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