Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation

In re Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation, No. 2:13-cv-20000-RDP, MDL No. 2406

What is it About?

Blue Cross & Blue Shield (BCBS) is made up of 36 independent companies (Blue Plans). These individual Blue Plans would be potential competitors with each other, if not for their agreement to form Exclusive Service Areas (ESAs). ESAs create geographic regions with no competition between different Blue Plans.

For instance, BCBS of Michigan agrees to only sell their services to companies within their own ESA. Under this agreement, they would not attempt to compete with a different Blue Plan by selling outside of the Michigan geographic region. Within a given ESA, there is no pressure to compete with another Blue Plan and they are free to reap the benefits of suppressed competition.

This litigation alleged that the ESAs unlawfully restrained competition in violation Sherman Antitrust Act.  Plaintiffs seek to stop this alleged conspiracy and to recover damages from this anticompetitive conduct.

Who is Eligible?

There are two primary and distinct groups of businesses who were harmed and are eligible as putative claimants:

  1. Subscribers
    • All business that contracted with BCBS for health insurance for their employees. This applies to both companies used BCBS for insurance or for plan administration when the company elected to self-fund their health insurance benefits.
      • If you used BCBS for health insurance between Feb. 7, 2008 through Oct 16, 2020,
      • If your company health insurance is self-funded and you only used BCBS for plan administration between Sep 1, 2015 through Oct 16, 2020
  2. Providers
    • All Medical providers who were reimbursed for medical services by BCBS.  Plaintiffs allege that reimbursement rates for medical providers were intentionally depressed through the reduced competition. 
      • The Medical provider plaintiffs have not settled. Their class certification motion has been fully briefed, but the litigation remains ongoing.

What is the Status?

The current settlement agreement received preliminary approval. Beyond stipulating damages to be paid to a Settlement Fund, the settlement agreement calls for significant injunctive relief that will increase competition among the individual Blue Plans in the health insurance market.

If final approval is granted, it will be by Spring 2021 at the earliest.

How much will it Pay?

In current settlement agreement, BCBS agrees to pay $2.67 billion to a Settlement Fund.

What are the Deadlines?

The claim filing process has not started yet.  However, because the class period started over a decade ago you don’t want to wait too long to start gathering documents.  Spectrum can help with this task but records from the early part of the class period may be hard to come by.  

Additional Information

For additional information regarding the status of the litigation, interested persons may visit, the Court-approved website for this case.

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