What About the Blue Cross Blue Shield Settlement?
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What About the Blue Cross Blue Shield Settlement?

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Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) companies reached an agreement on October 30, 2020, to settle a legal dispute challenging elements of Blue Cross Blue Shield Association licensing agreements. The settlement amount is $2.67 billion. This is a significant settlement and has garnered the attention of many employers, individuals and attorneys.

Who Are the Class Members?

Potential members of the class include the following groups to the extent they were covered by a BCBS health policy during the covered period:

  • Individuals and insured group health plans and their covered employees between February 8, 2008 and October 16, 2020.
  • Self-funded plans and their covered employees between September 1, 2015 and October 16, 2020.

How Do Employers Access More Information?

Potential class members will receive a formal notification via mail or email. In addition to your notification as an employer, many of your employees will also receive notification directly. Although you are not obligated to notify employees of the settlement, any direct notice they receive may generate questions back to employers.

Saginaw Bay Underwriters has drafted a sample letter for clients to share with their employees about the settlement. Please reach out to your risk advisor if you have questions or if you did not receive a copy of the sample letter for employees.

Employees may opt in to the settlement as a member at bcbssettlement.com.

How Do Employees Access More Information?

Employees who were covered under your health plan will be receiving notification of the settlement and of their option to file a claim directly. If employees wish to file a claim, they can do so on the settlement website (bcbssettlement.com) or via mail. There are many optional fields on the website; here are the required fields:

  • Personal identifying information (name and contact details).
  • Health plan name selected from a dropdown menu; (Blue Care Network or BCBS Michigan are likely choices).
  • Employer name for the group policy.
  • Payment elections; review/signature.

Please note that your employees will not need detailed policy information, coverage date information or premium allocation.

Do Employers Share Their Settlement With Employees?

No. Employers and employees receive their own separate settlements. Employees are eligible to participate in the settlement directly via mail or the settlement website (bcbssettlement.com).

How Much Might We Receive From the Settlement?

This is the key question, however, it is very difficult to tell because it is based on the number of respondents that join the lawsuit as class members.

For instance, in Michigan the starting figures are as follows:

  • Estimated $125 million settlement total.
  • Approximate number of members, 6 million.

Any computation made will be affected by the amounts employees contributed to premium payments and the number of claimants that join the lawsuit.

Do I Need an Attorney or a Firm for Representation?

There are a number of law firms reaching out to potential members of the class and offering representation services with the promise of streamlining the process. Most firms offer their services with no up-front cost on a contingency basis. Fees for their services are typically a percent of the settlement amount.

Employers can also register on their own as a member of the class action group directly on the website (bcbssettlement.com).

Are There Any Important Dates to Keep in Mind?

  • Spring 2021: Formal notices sent
  • July 28, 2021: Deadline to opt out of class action suit
  • November 5, 2021: Deadline to file to participate in class action suit

Making the Complex Simple

You and/or your employees have likely received information about a BCBS settlement. It’s important to know some basic information about this class action antitrust lawsuit, so you can decide how to proceed. We hope this post has helped.

For even more information, visit bcbssettlement.com.

Please contact us if you’d like to speak with an advisor about the Blue Cross Blue Shield settlement.

Saginaw Bay Underwriters has made every attempt to ensure this information has been obtained from reliable sources. Current as of: May 2021

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