News & Announcements

Penn State Partners with Quest Diagnostics

(Posted 02/22/2016)

As previously announced, Penn State now partners with Quest Diagnostics to provide a voluntary program, Lab Card Select, that will help medical plan participants and their covered dependents save money when they choose to have non-urgent laboratory testing such as blood and urine testing, cytology, pathology and cultures completed at a Quest Diagnostics facility.

In September 2016, employees who were enrolled in the Penn State health plan were sent a letter explaining the Quest Diagnostics program. Enclosed in the letter were laboratory cards for medical plan participants to use when receiving laboratory testing. For anyone in need of replacement laboratory cards, there is a link provided in the frequently asked questions that will allow you to print a temporary card.

Plan members should share with the card with their medical provider along with their insurance card, which will communicate their preference for using Quest Diagnostics. There are two ways to use the card:

  • Visit a Quest Diagnostics Patient Service Center for laboratory services
  • Request that the physician’s office send their lab samples to Quest

Additional information may be found at Penn State Quest Diagnostics.

Penn State Quest Frequently Asked Questions

BlueCross BlueShield Global Core (International coverage, formerly BlueCard Worldwide)

(Posted 01/04/2017)

BlueCard Worldwide, the service for international claims processing, has changed its name. Now called BlueCross BlueShield Global Core, you can use their website to find doctors and hospitals outside of the United States, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands; You can also find other valuable resources to help you stay safe and healthy around the world.

For more information, please review details on the website provided, as well as the BlueCross BlueShield Global Core Flyer. For convenience, an international claim form is also provided.

BlueCross BlueShield Global Core Flyer

BlueCross BlueShield International Claim Form

Highmark website updates

Highmark is making several changes to their website in order to provide member enhancement to their Find a Doctor feature and their health spending account Claims & Spending functions.

Find a Doctor Update – Now you no longer need to log in to your Highmark account in order to search for an in-network physician or hospital. The updated search is also simpler and more efficient. You will be able to use everyday language such as "ear, nose, and throat" or "heart disease" to find in-network specialist in those areas. Please visit Highmark to use the updated Find a Doctor feature.

FSA/HSA Update – Participating members are now being given more options when using their flexible spending account or health savings account to pay claims. New updates allow members to pay a portion or the entire claims with one submission, including the ability to select a precise amount to pay toward a claim. Please visit the Highmark website to log in to your account to utilize the new features.

Equian (formerly Trover Solutions)

Highmark’s subrogation vendor, Trover Solutions, has announced a name change to Equian effective July 1, 2016. Highmark uses Equian to investigate accident and/or injury claims that are submitted for processing. Please note that it is important for members to respond to the information requested by Equian in order for claims to process appropriately.

For PPO Blue members only without a Health Care FSA: 

As Highmark continues to “go green”, effective May 9, they will discontinue printing/mailing paper Explanation of Benefits (EOBs) when there is a $0 balance, or when there is only an office visit or emergency room copayment, due for a medical claim. You will be able to view these EOBs online at or by calling Highmark member services at 800-914-4384.  

All other types of claims will continue to generate paper EOB’s, unless you have chosen to receive EOBs through the Highmark website only.  

This change does NOT apply to those enrolled in the PPO Blue plan with an FSA or the PPO Savings plan with the HSA. Plan Activity Statements will continue to generate as usual.

Highmark Network Rules for Laboratories

Network rules for labs are different than other in-network providers.  Laboratories are considered in-network if they participate in the local Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield network IN THE SERVICE AREA OF THE PHYSICIAN WHO ORDERED THE LAB WORK.  This means that when a physician orders lab work, you need to make sure you are using a laboratory in the same state as the ordering physician.  For example, if you live in Pennsylvania, but see a doctor in New Jersey, you need to make sure the lab work is performed in New Jersey, or the laboratory claim will be processed as out-of-network, and the higher deductible and coinsurance would apply.  Contact Highmark directly at 800-914-4384 if you need help finding network providers. 

University Health Services Student Health Center Update

As of August 2014, University Health Services (UHS) Student Health Center located at the University Park campus, will accept the following insurances for STUDENTS ONLY:

  • Highmark Blue Shield
  • Aetna
  • Cigna
  • United Health Care
  • UPMC
  • PA Medical Assistance
  • Tri Care

University employees who participate in either the PPO Blue plan or the PPO Savings Plan, who have student dependents attending Penn State, should encourage their children to present their Highmark medical ID card when seeking services at UHS. Please be aware that Penn State FACULTY AND STAFF may continue to use the UHS pharmacy for prescriptions, but they will not have access to MEDICAL services at UHS.  
Questions regarding this change should be directed to University Health Services at

Employee Medical Plans Used at Other Penn State Student Health Clinics

All other Penn State campuses also have a student health clinic that is the primary treatment center for its students.  Therefore, it is reasonable to expect that dependent students may try to seek treatment from one of these clinics.  Unfortunately, these student clinics are unable to contract with insurance providers.  The cost of dealing with so many insurance companies for those clinics would drive up the current discounted rate for services provided there.

Therefore, if you have dependents who are also students at Penn State campuses, other than University Park, we suggest that they continue to utilize their family physician or search for a participating provider through the Highmark Provider Directory.  In most cases, the student health clinics available to Penn State students will be considered an out-of-network provider with our Highmark employee health plan.  Should your dependent student decide to visit a student clinic regardless, it is the patient (or employee) responsibility to submit claims to Highmark for reimbursement.

If your dependent student attends University Park campus, please review the information in the section above, “University Health Services Student Health Center Update,” regarding the use of their Highmark health insurance coverage.