Notices to those potentially affected by the Blue Cross Blue Shield (Blue Cross) antitrust lawsuit have started arriving by mail and/or email. The notice states that its recipient may be eligible for a share of a $2.67 billion antitrust settlement from last fall. Eligible class members are receiving a claim file number on the notice for the purpose of filing a claim in the class action settlement. An example of what the correspondence looks like is below.
This correspondence has been sent to employers and individuals who may be eligible to receive payment. Employers and individuals may be eligible to receive payment if they were covered by certain Blue Cross plans during specific dates of qualification (see eligibility periods for both fully insured and self-insured plans below). Government accounts are excluded from the settlement.
Both employers and individuals may file a claim based on the amount they paid to their healthcare coverage. For example, if the employer paid 50 percent and the individual paid the other 50 percent, the employer and individual would only submit the claim for the amount each party paid during the dates of qualification.
We encourage employers to wait until they receive the postcard or email to file your claim (example included below). When you enter the Unique ID number provided, most of the information regarding your coverage dates and policy numbers will be prepopulated for you. We urge employers to share this information with their employees.
What To Do If You Receive This Notification
If you receive an email or letter with this information, you will need to go to bcbssettlement.com to file your claim. If you have not received this information, you can still file a claim by going to the website and entering in your information. Claims must be filed by November 5, 2021.
Important: North Risk Partners is unable to assist in the actual process of filing your claim. You will need to file your claim at bcbssettlement.com. However, we can inform you of the settlement and the information that is being sent by Blue Cross and help employers locate information needed for filing. If you need help locating this information, contact your North Risk Partners Risk Advisor. North Risk Partners only has access to information from when we acted as your agent of record.
What Are The Settlement Periods?
There are two settlement periods based on whether you, as an employer, were fully insured or self-funded. Dependents, beneficiaries (including minors), and non-employees are NOT eligible to receive payment.
- The Settlement Class Period for Individuals and Insured Groups is from February 7, 2008, through October 16, 2020.
- The Settlement Class Period for Self-Funded Accounts is from September 1, 2015 through October 16, 2020.
What Is The Reason For The Claim?
This settlement, arising from a class action antitrust lawsuit called In re: Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation MDL 2406, (the “Settlement”), was reached on behalf of individuals and companies that purchased or received health insurance provided or administered by a Blue Cross Blue Shield company. Class Representatives (“Plaintiffs”) reached a Settlement on October 16, 2020 with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (“BCBSA”) and Settling Individual Blue Plans. BCBSA and Settling Individual Blue Plans are called “Settling Defendants.”
Plaintiffs allege that Settling Defendants violated antitrust laws by entering into an agreement not to compete with each other and to limit competition among themselves in selling health insurance and administrative services for health insurance. Settling Defendants deny all allegations of wrongdoing and assert that their conduct results in lower healthcare costs and greater access to care for their customers. The Court has not decided who is right or wrong. Instead, Plaintiffs and Settling Defendants have agreed to a Settlement to avoid the risk and cost of further litigation.
If approved by the Court, the Settlement will establish a $2.67 billion settlement fund. Settling Defendants will also agree to make changes in the way they do business that Plaintiffs believe will increase the opportunities for competition in the market for health insurance.
If you have questions related to this update, please contact your North Risk Partners advisor. Don’t have an advisor? No problem. We’ll help you find one.
This regulatory update is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice.