Westinghouse Electric Co. drops Highmark

Westinghouse Electric Co. has dropped Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield health coverage in favor of Aetna, employees were informed Wednesday.

In an email to employees, Westinghouse Human Resources Vice President Leigh Pogue said most of Highmark’s medical providers were already in Aetna’s network and the new coverage is effective Jan. 1, 2014. Open enrollment for the company begins Nov. 4.

“Additionally, Aetna offers an extensive national network of doctors, hospitals and facilities – 98 percent of providers that Westinghouse employees use under Highmark are in–network with Aetna,” Pogue wrote. “Additionally, Aetna provides enhanced customer service and online tools, making it easier to obtain the information that you need.”

Westinghouse employs 5,600 employees in the region and around 13,000 employees in total. Highmark spokesman Aaron Billger said the Blues affiliate was disappointed by the loss, but the company continues to be on membership targets for national accounts.

Highmark has 4.9 million insured members in Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Highmark and UPMC Health Plan have mounted aggressive marketing campaigns as the fall open enrollment period heats up.

Westinghouse and Aetna officials were not immediately available.

For Highmark, the Jan. 1 renewal is the busiest of the year. The contract between Highmark and hospital giant UPMC expires in 2014, which will make UPMC doctors and hospitals out-of-network for some 3.1 million Highmark members in western Pennsylvania.

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