The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBS) and its affiliated companies have agreed to a US$2.67 billion settlement in a class-action lawsuit that alleged the health insurer engaged in anti-competitive practices that hurt consumers.
The association and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota reject the claims in the lawsuit, but agreed to the settlement, which calls for some operating changes and payment to members of the class.
“Settling now is the right action at the right time because it allows us to remain focused on the goal we have had for more than 80 years – improving access to quality health care for all Americans and the health of our local communities,” Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota spokeswoman Andrea Dineen said in a press statement.
This settlement arose from a class action antitrust lawsuit that was reached on behalf of individuals and companies that purchased or received health insurance provided or administered by a Blue Cross Blue Shield company.
If approved by the court, a US$2.67 billion settlement fund would be established. BCBS defendants agreed to make changes in the way they do business that would increase the opportunities for competition in the market for health insurance.
Class members who could be impacted by the settlement include individual employees as well as employers who sponsored health insurance plans that were insured with BCBS at any time between February 7, 2008, and October 16, 2020, under fully insured plans, or were covered by or enrolled in a self-funded plan any time between September 1, 2015, and October 16, 2020.