Benefits Alert | Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation Settlement

On October 16, 2020, a class action legal case involving Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) was settled. At a high level, the core element of the case was the accusation that BCBS was violating antitrust laws by entering into an agreement amongst its various geographic based organizational groups to limit competition in selling health insurance and administrative services. Blue Cross Blue Shield ultimately denied all allegation of wrongdoing and asserted that their strategy resulted in lower healthcare costs and greater access to care. A no fault settlement was reached for both parties to avoid the risk and cost of further litigation.

The settlement involved a change in bid process by BCBS. Click here to download the details of the same as well as an overall response to the settlement by Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Additionally, there was a 2.67 billion settlement fund set up for any eligible group or party who could be included in the class action litigation. In speaking with BCBS management, we have been advised that class action group eligibility for the relief is being administered and determined by the parties managing the plaintiff’s case.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield classes as referenced by the settlement include the below:

  • An individual subscriber who purchased health insurance directly from a Blue Cross and Blue Shield company between 02/07/2008-10/16/2020
  • A fully insured group account (including enrolled employees) of a Blue Cross and Blue Shield company between 02/07/2008-10/16/2020
  • A self-funded group account (including enrolled employees) of a Blue Cross and Blue Shield company between 09/01/2015-10/16/2020

The settlement site portal is active and we are interacting with representatives of the third party administrator. The eligible claim period extends through 11/05/2021 but no claims will be determined until the conclusion of the claim eligibility period based upon feedback from the administrator.

We recommend that if you had a BCBS fully insured or self-funded plan during the time frames referenced above that you proceed in filing a claim via the portal even if you have not received a notice notifying you of eligibility.

We will continue to monitor the situation and advise you of any material updates. We are aware that third party recovery agencies may be reaching out directly to potentially impacted groups but we suggest that you reach out to your Brinson Benefits Account Manager for further input if you receive such a solicitation as there are sizable consulting fees that are contingent on recovery amounts to be considered.

Click here for a detailed summary of the case and the settlement.

If you have any further questions, please let your Brinson Benefits Account Manager know.