PARKERSBURG - With a new name, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia officials remain committed to the Parkersburg area, in spite of the possible outsourcing of some jobs overseas.
Earlier this year, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia held a reception unveiling its new name, shortened to Highmark West Virginia, while reassuring customers of its commitment to service.
Fred Early, president of Highmark West Virginia, said company officials felt it was time to rebrand. Mountain State Blue Cross Blue Shield has had an affiliation with Highmark Inc. for nearly 12 years.
Photo by Jody Murphy
Officials gathered recently at the Blue Cross Blue Shield downtown headquarters to unveil the company’s new name.
Highmark Inc. CEO Dr. Ken Melani said Highmark is committed to providing West Virginians with access to quality health care coverage. Melani also reaffirmed the company's commitment to Parkersburg and its workforce.
Late in 2010, it was discovered Highmark was considering outsourcing some of its jobs in Parkersburg overseas, a move Highmark has made at other centers.
Melani defended the company's maneuvers while acknowledging employee concerns. He said the company's outsourcing of jobs are short-term sacrifices for long-term gains and he reaffirmed the company's commitment to Parkersburg and the state of West Virginia.
Highmark West Virginia has about 700 employees in Parkersburg, about 320 of whom are employees of Highmark Inc. Statewide, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield West Virginia has more than 900 employees.
Melani said Highmark is making short-term sacrifices for long-term gains. According to Melani, Highmark's outsourcing has created new jobs and opportunities within the company. He also pointed to Highmark's growth.
Melani said he couldn't predict if Highmark West Virginia will see more outsourcing of jobs, but he reiterated Highmark's commitment to area and the state.