Blue Cross Blue Shield Settlement
If your company had an administrative services agreement with a Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) licensee in the past six years or a health insurance policy with a BCBS licensee in the past 13 years, your company may benefit from the settlement of a court case, In re: Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation MDL 2406, N.D. Ala. Master File No. 2:13-cv-20000-RDP. The plaintiffs in the case alleged that the BCBS licensees violated antitrust laws by limiting competition and the BCBS defendants denied the allegations. The settlement ends the case without a court decision on the antitrust issue.
The terms of the settlement provide two types of relief, monetary relief and Second Blue Bids.
The settlement fund is, in the aggregate, $1.9 billion. Your company has the opportunity to share in the settlement fund if your company had (1) an administrative services agreement with a BCBS licensee between September 1, 2015 and October 16, 2020, or (2) a group health policy between July 7, 2008 and October 16, 2020. Approximately 6.5% of the fund ($123.5 million) is allocated to class members with self-insured plans and 93.5% of the fund ($1.78 billion) is allocated to class members with insured plans. Individual employees who were covered by group health plans administered or insured by a BCBS licensee during the relevant period are also class members and have the opportunity to file their own claims. Go to https://www.bcbssettlement.com/ for details on the default allocation formula, the option to submit an alternative formula, and instructions on filing a claim. Please let us know if you have questions about the formula, filing a claim, or the potential application of ERISA to settlement proceeds.
The deadline for filing a claim is November 5, 2021.
Second Blue Bids
The class eligible for a Second Blue Bid is limited to companies with 5,000 or more employees that have been designated as Qualified National Accounts. The settlement website includes a lookup tool at https://www.bcbssettlement.com/secondbluebid where you can check whether a company has been designated as a Qualified National Account. The list will be updated after two years.
In the past, only one BCBS licensee would respond to a company’s RFP for administrative services, meaning a second BCBS licensee would not compete against the first BCBS licensee for the business. The settlement includes a process by which a company that has been designated as a Qualified National Account may request a bid from a second BCBS licensee (i.e., a Second Blue Bid) in addition to an initial proposal from the first BCBS licensee.
Second Blue Bids will not be available until April 1, 2022 (and possibly later).