Discussion Leader

Sharing insights, inspiring change

Deb Rice-Johnson

President & CEO

Ms. Rice-Johnson is an innovative health insurance leader, driven by a passion for reinventing health care experiences and pioneering provider relationships designed to keep care close to home and change antiquated reimbursement methods. Through diverse and inventive relationships ranging from joint ventures to equity interest partnerships, she has spearheaded affiliations and clinical alliances with Penn State Health, Geisinger Health System and many regionally-based health care providers.

As president of Highmark Inc., she is responsible for providing senior leadership and strategic direction for the company’s health insurance business, serving 5.3 million customers and managing more than $15 billion in revenue. Additionally, she has accountability for product development, provider networks and reimbursement, clinical services, sales and operations. Ms. Rice-Johnson is also responsible for Highmark’s insurance-based subsidiaries: United Concordia Dental, the sixth largest dental plan nationally that serves the largest voluntary dental program in the world with TRICARE, and HM Insurance Group, a national carrier with annual revenues of more than $1 billion.

 Ms. Rice-Johnson has more than 30 years of experience in the health insurance industry. She has held a variety of management positions at Highmark and its predecessor company. Her leadership has not only redefined the payer-provider relationship and yielded unparalleled financial performance, but she has also delivered innovative clinical solutions that aim to improve health outcomes for Highmark’s members. She is also keenly focused and committed to positively impacting the employment situation of our nation’s military veterans through championing private-sector hiring efforts.

In a commitment to community, Ms. Rice-Johnson serves on the boards of the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation, the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, Carlow University, the Duquesne Club and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s Blue Health Intelligence focused on data analytics. Additionally, she serves as board chair of the Epilepsy Association of Western and Central PA, and board president for Variety the Children’s Charity.

Ms. Rice-Johnson holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Carlow University. In 2014 she was named a Carlow Laureate, the university’s most prestigious alumni award recognizing those whose work, thought, and action demonstrate the highest standards of professional accomplishment and leadership.

A Conversation With Deb Rice Johnson