Blue Cross Blue Shield in the headlines: 5 updates

From canceled acquisitions to contract challenges in court, these are five key updates about Blue Cross Blue Shield companies reported by Becker's in 2024:

1. BCBS Louisiana has put plans to be acquired by Elevance Health for $2.5 billion on pause again after the proposed sale faced scrutiny from physicians, hospitals and state officials.

2. CareFirst BCBS President and CEO Brian Pieninck sat down with Becker's to discuss his dual role serving 3.5 million members in the Mid-Atlantic region, along with 120 million members at the national level as the newly elected chair of the BCBS Association's board of directors.

3. BCBS North Carolina's legal challenge to win back the state health plan contract it lost to Aetna will continue in a state court. The state health plan, which provides coverage to more than 740,000 state employees, first announced its intent to award Aetna the contract in January 2023. BCBSNC, which held the contract for over 40 years, filed its challenge in February 2023. The contract includes healthcare spending of more than $17.5 billion over five years. 

4. Florida Blue, BCBS Arizona and BCBS North Carolina have each launched or purchased provider capabilities over the last year. Several BCBS plans spent 2023 reorganizing to better compete with larger insurers through corporate restructuring, M&A or the launch of healthcare delivery subsidiaries. 

5. BCBS Minnesota is being sued by the Labor Department for allegedly imposing a state provider tax on self-funded health plan customers and violating its fiduciary duties under ERISA. The agency is accusing the payer of secretly passing at least $66.8 million to self-funded customers as part of the negotiated rates it pays to providers.

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