Hearings on proposed BCBS Louisiana, Elevance deal postponed

Public hearings on Elevance Health's proposed acquisition of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana have been postponed after state officials raised concerns about the sale. 

The public hearings, originally scheduled for Aug. 21 and 22, have been moved to Oct. 5 and 6. According to a news release from the Louisiana Department of Insurance, BCBS Louisiana asked for the delay to allow additional time to respond to concerns raised in reports commissioned by the insurance department. 

The reports questioned how the foundation BCBS Louisiana plans to create with proceeds from the deal will operate, and the proposed fraction of the deal that will be paid to the company's current members. 

A spokesperson for BCBS Louisiana told NBC affiliate KPLC the delay will give the public "more time to understand the benefits of this opportunity." 

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Elevance Health’s mutual goal for this acquisition is to offer the best services at competitive prices to ultimately improve the health and lives of Louisianians," the spokesperson said. "We will continue our conversations to ensure this acquisition is beneficial, data driven and transparent." 

Three Louisiana state senators and the attorney general called for a delay of the sale earlier in August. 

In January, Elevance Health said it plans to acquire BCBS Louisiana, which will become a for-profit Elevance subsidiary if the deal is approved. 

The $2.5 billion acquisition is expected to close this year. The deal needs approval from the state insurance commissioner along with two-thirds of BCBS policyholders. 

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