Penn State Harrisburg

F.G. Merkel, '89g

· Honorary Member; Board of Advisers


President and Chief Operating Officer
United Concordia

F.G. “Chip” Merkel serves as United Concordia’s President and Chief Operating Officer.  His more than 30-year insurance industry career includes a record of crafting and implementing strategies that exceed corporate profitability goals and ensure long-term success.

As United Concordia’s top leader, Merkel is guiding United Concordia’s transformation from a traditional dental benefits company to an innovative dental wellness company focused on meeting changing consumer needs and evolving marketplace demands, including those related to Health Care Reform. He also is responsible for overseeing United Concordia’s day-to-day activities, including Finance, Operations, Information Technology, Underwriting, Sales, Human Resources, Marketing and Product Development. Previously, he served as the company’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, where he was responsible for national sales and marketing strategy, development and implementation, as well as provider relations. This included management of 150 sales, marketing and support professionals in 22 offices and 30 provider relations representatives located throughout the United States.

Among some of his most noteworthy accomplishments at United Concordia are re-pricing and expanding the company’s product portfolio; creating the industry’s first-ever dental wellness product based on the findings of landmark research conducted by United Concordia, Highmark and the University of Pennsylvania; streamlining cost of care; and using strategic partnerships as a distribution strategy. His successes also include achieving an average pre-tax income of more than $100 million over the last five years, earning a seven-year Federal Employees Dental and Vision Program (FEDVIP) contract renewal valued at more than $1 billion and securing renewal of the Active Duty Dental Program (ADDP) for five years at a value of $728 million.  

Before joining United Concordia in 1998, Merkel served as President and Chief Executive Officer for HealthAmerica of Pennsylvania and the senior executive in charge of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia operations for Coventry Health Care, HealthAmerica’s parent company. With total operating revenue of $680 million in 1996, HealthAmerica boasted 2,100 employees, including 154 physicians based in 22 locations; 90 hospitals; and 2,500 primary care and 5,200 specialty care physicians – all serving more than 6,800 employee groups.

The Pennsylvania State University awarded Merkel a Masters of Public Administration (M.P.A.), and he received a Bachelor’s of Science in Political Science from Mansfield University, graduating Cum Laude. Merkel has been a member of nearly 30 boards and associations during his career. Presently he serves on the Penn State Harrisburg Board of Advisors.