BCBS insurers reach tentative $2.7B deal over antitrust case

Blue Cross Blue Shield insurers tentatively reached a settlement in an antitrust lawsuit that accuses the companies of conspiring to divide markets and avoid directly competing with each other, according to The Wall Street Journal

The claims were first brought in 2012 under a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of health plan members. The lawsuit alleged that anticompetitive behavior among BCBS plans has led to higher prices for members. 

Under a tentative deal, the BCBS Association agreed to pay $2.7 billion to settle the claims, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal. The Blue plans would loosen rules that place limits on non-Blue generated revenue and competition among one another.

The sources said the deal isn't final. The BCBS Association approved the deal, but it still needs endorsement from the boards of all 36 BCBS plans. The tentative settlement also doesn't have approval from U.S. District Judge David Proctor, who is overseeing the case, according to the report. His approval is needed to implement the settlement. 

In a statement to The Wall Street Journal, the BCBS Association said, "We can assure you that Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies will remain committed to improving the health of our members, our customers, and our local communities."

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