Press Releases

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

CareFirst and Highmark introduce Union Blue

  • Companies unveil best-in-class unionized labor members health insurance product backed by the power of Blue

Washington, DC/PITTSBURGH (August 31, 2021) — Today, two leading healthcare companies, CareFirst of Maryland, Inc. (CareFirst) and Highmark Inc. (Highmark), announced a new collaboration and health insurance offering designed specifically for labor unions and members. The solution, Union Blue, is built on the value of Blue through access to affordable, high-quality care. It features a dedicated, high-touch labor staffed service center providing world-class coverage and specialized support to the labor market.

Independently, the two companies, which are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, already provide access to care to millions of Americans. CareFirst is a not-for-profit and the largest health insurer in Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia. The Pittsburgh, PA-based Highmark provides health insurance administration services across Pennsylvania, Western and Northeastern New York, West Virginia and Delaware.

Union Blue delivers a best-in-class healthcare administration experience that meets the unique needs of the men, women and families of labor. The new offering draws on CareFirst and Highmark’s deep experience in the labor market to establish a leadership role for Blues. The solution features a high-touch experience, committed service and data analytics that enable CareFirst and Highmark to generate deep insights about labor members’ needs, proactively manage their care, and help improve health outcomes.

“The communities we serve are home to so many labor unions and union members,” said Brian D. Pieninck, President and CEO of CareFirst. “We’ve worked with Highmark to create a best-in-class solution, delivering access to care that addresses their needs and leads to healthier outcomes. Together, our 360° approach and service expertise with the labor population will ensure we meet individuals wherever they are on the health continuum. Union Blue provides simplicity and personalized care backed by the valuable national resources of Blue.”

“We’re excited to work with CareFirst to build a solution that draws on our deep experience and is tailored to the unique needs of this market,” said Deborah L. Rice-Johnson, president of Highmark and chief growth officer. “We’ve built a robust foundation of service and member experience for Union Blue to identify and manage a range of individual health conditions across a diverse population. As a result, we’re enabling multiple touchpoints for members to help lead to positive health outcomes.”

Union Blue offers transformative health insurance administration services for the Labor marketplace including:

  • Dedicated service to meet the targeted needs of labor unions and their members;
  • Simplicity through national healthcare benefit products to improve the overall customer experience;
  • Value of Blue benefits tapping nationally-recognized services at a local level with access to more than 1.7 million providers.

Union Blue, which will be available in the market in 2022, features enhanced member care services, including a team of nationwide service advocates and registered nurses to provide personalized, easy-to-understand assistance.  This solution is supported by robust technology and an integrated data platform for seamless coordination and management of care across the continuum of members’ healthcare needs.

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 Western and Northeastern 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

About CareFirst of Maryland, Inc.
In its 83rd year of service, CareFirst, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit healthcare company which, through its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to 3.4 million individuals and groups in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. In 2019, CareFirst invested $43 million to improve overall health and increase the accessibility, affordability, safety and quality of healthcare throughout its market areas. To learn more about CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, visit our website at or follow us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn or Instagram.

For more information, contact

Aaron Billger

CareFirst Media Relations
1-800-914-NEWS (6397)