Blue Cross Will Pay Out $2.67 Billion Settlement For Blue Shield Antitrust Case
The court has approved a $2.67 billion settlement for the blue cross class action lawsuit.
Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) was charged with four antitrust class action lawsuits for allegedly engaging in price-fixing to control market competition around the United States.
The blue cross lawsuit accused Blue Cross Blue Shield, together with 37 providers of health insurance plans, of illegally conspiring to increase insurance premiums and carving out their geographic markets in the United States.
Plaintiffs argue that the Settling Individual Blue Plans and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association defied antitrust laws by not competing with one another.
The lawsuits also assert that this illegal price-fixing has allowed the parties to gain a monopoly of market and power.
In addition, the lawsuit states that the unlawful price-fixing breaches the Sherman Antitrust Act.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and the Settling Individual Blue Plans do not acknowledge any of the allegations made against them.
They believe that they did not commit any wrongdoings and that their actions helped lower insurance costs and provided greater access to their customers.
However, they have agreed to pay a settlement fund to avoid further litigation regarding the issue.
A settlement was reached regarding the blue cross class action lawsuit on October 16, 2020.
A $2.67 billion settlement fund has been established to compensate individuals and companies who have bought or received any form of health insurance provided or managed by a BCBS company.
The court has approved two settlement classes for the case – the Damages Class and the Injunctive Relief Class.
The Damages Class
The Damages Class is comprised of the following class members:
- Insured groups and their employees
- Self-funded accounts and their employees
The class members should have purchased, enrolled, or were covered by a Blue Cross Commercial Health product managed by Settling Individual Blue Plan.
The following class periods apply for the damages class members:
- Fully insured individuals – February 7, 2008, to October 16, 2020
- Insured groups and their employees – February 7, 2008, to October 16, 2020
- Self-funded accounts and their employees – September 1, 2015, to October 16, 2020
Note that beneficiaries and dependents are not included in this class.
The Injunctive Relief Class
The Injunctive Relief Class is comprised of the following class members:
- Insured groups
- Self-funded accounts
The members should have purchased, enrolled, or were covered by a Blue Cross Commercial Health product managed by Settling Individual Blue Plan during the appropriate class period.
Beneficiaries, dependants, and non-employees are covered in this class.
Below are the details related to how to file a claim with blue cross blue shield:
- Identified class members will receive a notice, either thru mail or email, in the spring of 2021.
- After notice has been received, that is the only time class members can perform actions regarding the case – such as file a claim, object with the settlement, or file and exclusion.
- Individuals who are not sure if they are included as class members may contact the Claims Administrator to confirm eligibility.
The specific date on when the notice will be released to class members has not yet been determined. It is expected that class members will be notified in the spring of 2021.
The deadline for filing claims, filing objections, and opting out from the BCBS settlement has also not yet been determined.
The fairness hearing is scheduled for October 20-21, 2021.
Editor’s Note on Blue Cross Blue Shield Class Action Settlement:
This article is published to inform you of the latest class action settlement that has been reached for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Case.
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