Antitrust Lawsuits Target Blue Cross

via Wall Street Journal

Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurers cover about a third of Americans, through a national network that dates back decades. Now, antitrust lawsuits advancing in a federal court in Alabama allege that the 37 independently owned companies are functioning as an illegal cartel.

A federal judicial panel has consolidated the claims against the insurers into two lawsuits that represent plaintiffs from around the country. One is on behalf of health-care providers and the other is for individual and small-employer customers.

The antitrust suits allege that the insurers are conspiring to divvy up markets and avoid competing against one another, driving up customers’ prices and pushing down the amounts paid to doctors and other health-care providers.

The suits, which name all of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies as defendants as well as the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, have already survived the insurers’ first major legal challenge.

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Eric is a Producer at Lockton Insurance Brokers, Inc., the world’s largest privately held commercial broker. Eric has over 23 years of experience in the insurance industry and has spent the last 11 years with Lockton. Eric specializes in Health & Welfare Benefits, Retirement Planning, and Executive Benefits. Eric's clients utilize his expertise in the areas of Plan Due Diligence, Transaction Structure, Fiduciary Oversight, Investment Design, Compliance and Vendor negotiation to improve the operational & financial outcome for each client. The Benefit Blog is a place to share that expertise and industry news.
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