Press Releases

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Highmark acquires full ownership of Gateway Health

  • Gateway products transition to Highmark Wholecare under the Blue Cross/Blue Shield brand, enabling enhanced quality and outcomes for members

PITTSBURGH (September 7, 2021) — Highmark announced today it has closed on its transaction to acquire full ownership of Gateway Health Plan, Inc. (Gateway Health), a leading managed care organization dedicated to caring for the total health of its members following receipt of the necessary state regulatory approvals. Highmark had previously held a 50 percent ownership interest in Gateway Health, created in 1992 through a partnership between Highmark and Mercy Health.  The terms of the agreement with Mercy Health, a subsidiary of Trinity Health, were not disclosed.

“Through our Medicaid and Medicare programs, Gateway Health has long focused on coordinating health care that goes beyond doctors and medicine to deliver whole person care,” said Karen Hanlon, chief operating officer, Highmark Health, and interim president and chief executive officer for Gateway Health. “With this agreement, we can now fully leverage Highmark’s innovative Living Health model to deliver a more coordinated, personalized, technology-enabled experience for our members.”

In addition to an improved member experience, consumers will be able to select Highmark Wholecare Medicare and Medicaid products branded Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield. Highmark Wholecare is the new trade name for Gateway Health and its products were formerly offered as Gateway Health products.

According to Hanlon, Gateway Health will also tap into Highmark innovations and programming to better address behavioral health and socioeconomic challenges for more than 355,000 members across Pennsylvania.

Deborah Rice-Johnson, president, Highmark Health Plan, noted that Highmark’s mission is to create a remarkable health experience, freeing people to be their best. “This acquisition will help us further our mission and better serve current and future Medicaid and Medicare members across Pennsylvania,” she said. 

About Highmark Inc.
One of America's leading health insurance organizations and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, Highmark Inc. (the Health Plan) and its affiliated health plans (collectively, the Health Plans) work passionately to deliver high-quality, accessible, understandable, and affordable experiences, outcomes, and solutions to customers. As the fourth-largest overall Blue Cross Blue Shield-affiliated organization, Highmark Inc. and its Blue-branded affiliates proudly cover the insurance needs of more than 6 million members in Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and New York. Its diversified businesses serve group customer and individual needs across the United States through dental insurance and other related businesses. For more information, visit

For more information, contact

Aaron Billger
Highmark Inc.