Proposed class action lawsuit filed to block BCBS Louisiana, Elevance deal

A Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana policyholder filed a proposed class action lawsuit seeking to block the insurer's sale to Elevance Health, reported Dec. 5. 

The lawsuit, filed Dec. 4, does not name BCBS Louisiana or Elevance, but the Accelerate Louisiana Initiative, the foundation BCBS Louisiana plans to fund with the proceeds from the Elevance sale. 

BCBS Louisiana proposed that around 90% of the proceeds of the sale go to the foundation to advance health equity in the state, with around 10% paid out to BCBS Louisiana policyholders. The acquisition must be approved by two-thirds of BCBS Louisiana's policy holders.  

Tut Kinney, a BCBS Louisiana policyholder and the plaintiff in the case, argues the policyholders are entitled to the proceeds for the sale, rather than a foundation, reported. 

Mr. Kinney filed the suit individually but proposed it be expanded to a class action representing BCBS Louisiana's 92,000 policyholders. 

The deal has faced a series of roadblocks. In September, the two companies said they had temporarily paused the deal after state lawmakers and the state's attorney general, Jeff Landry, said they wanted the deal halted. 

Mr. Landry is the state's governor-elect and will assume office in January. In September Mr. Landry said he did not want the sale to proceed until more questions about the deal have been answered and a new governor and insurance commissioner have taken office. 

On an October call with investors, Elevance Health CEO Gail Boudreaux said the company is still planning to complete the acquisition, previously planned to close in January 2024. 

A BCBS Louisiana spokesperson told Becker's the company does not comment on pending litigation.

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