The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Blues Settle Suit
—Individuals Shouldn’t Expect Much

Apr 26, 2021

The national Blue Cross Blue Shield Association settled a lawsuit filed against it for prohibiting individual state Blue Cross plans from competing in another state. The total amount of the settlement was about 2.7 billion dollars. Blue Cross of Michigan will be on the hook for about 125 million dollars of that.

Some of the money will go to fully insured individuals, some to small and medium sized businesses, and some to large companies with self-funded insurance plans, like GM.

If you’re a fully insured individual, don’t expect a huge amount. About 30% of the settlement money will go to lawyers fees. BCBSM insures six million people around the state. While the number who are fully insured is certainly much less than that, it’s not likely individuals will get much out of it.

In the end, this is a fight between the big Blues plans around the country, like Anthem, to be able to go into other states and undercut the smaller Blues plans for contracts. Anthem already controls the Blues plans in 14 states. Ultimately, this will end up with greater concentration in the health insurance industry.