United Concordia Dental President Named Highmark Executive Vice President

HARRISBURG, Pa., June 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- F.G. "Chip" Merkel, president and COO of United Concordia Dental, has been named executive vice president, Diversified Businesses for Highmark Inc.

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In his new role, Merkel will assume responsibility for HM Insurance Group in Pittsburgh, a Highmark diversified business that offers stop loss and managed care reinsurance nationally, and workers' compensation products in Pennsylvania. He also will continue his leadership role at United Concordia Dental, another subsidiary that offers dental insurance and solutions focused on improving oral and overall wellness.

"Given the continued transformation of health care in all of our service areas and across the country, our objective is to foster new ways to support our members and group customers, while promoting our growth," said Deborah Rice-Johnson, president of Highmark Health Plans. "As a veteran leader in our enterprise, Chip's knowledge and expertise will play an important role in helping us achieve these goals."

Prior to joining United Concordia Dental, Merkel worked for Coventry/Health America as CEO of plans in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Virginia. He has more than 30 years of experience in the health care and insurance industries and has been a member of nearly 30 boards and associations during his career.

"I am excited about this new assignment, particularly the opportunity to guide two companies known as industry leaders in their respective markets," said Merkel. "I'm also proud to play a role in helping Highmark and its diversified businesses and affiliates build healthier and stronger communities."  

For further information: Beth Rutherford, United Concordia Dental, 717-260-7659, beth.rutherford@ucci.com or Leilyn Perri, Highmark Inc., 717-302-4243, leilyn.perri@highmark.com