Highmark Inc. and Independence Blue Cross say they have given up on efforts to combine their operations.
Highmark, Pittsburgh, holds the Blue Shield license for central Pennsylvania, and it holds the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licenses for western Pennsylvania. It provides health coverage for 4.6 million people.
Independence Blue, Philadelphia, which holds the Blue Cross license for southeastern Pennsylvania, covers 3.4 million people.
Together, the companies provide coverage for about 70% of all Pennsylvania residents.
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The companies applied to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department for permission to merge back in April 2007.