GREENSBORO, N.C. — Did you get a postcard in the mail telling you that you’re able to be involved in a $2.6 billion settlement? If you have or had any kind of Blue Cross and Blue Shield health insurance in the last 12 years, chances are the postcard is somewhere in your mail pile and it’s legit.
In October 2020, Blue Cross Blue Shield reached a $2.67 billion settlement in a class-action antitrust lawsuit. A judge has not given final approval to the settlement.
This settlement stemmed from an Alabama class-action antitrust lawsuit titled in re: Blue Cross Blue Shield antitrust litigation mdl 2406.
Blue Cross reached the settlement on Oct. 16, 2020, with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (“BCBSA”) and settling individual blue plans.
In the class-action suit, plaintiffs alleged Blue Cross “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.” The plaintiffs argued Blue Cross was able to charge higher rates for plans through the practice of limiting competition.
Blue Cross denied the allegations saying the insurance provider’s practices reduced healthcare costs and gave customers more access to care.
If given final approval, the settlement will create a $2.67 billion settlement fund and would become one of the largest health care settlements in U.S. history.
According to the terms of the settlement, about $1.9 billion will go to eligible subscribers who file claims. The remaining $700 million will go to the case’s attorneys.
Blue Cross agreed to make changes to business practices they said will increase marketplace competition.
You can look at the BCBS legal rights and options notice.
IGNORE IT: If you do nothing and ignore the postcard: You won't get any money and you give up your right to sue the company for this at another time.
OPT-OUT: You get no money but can still sue them.
OBJECT/ATTEND: You can object to the settlement to the courts or even attend the hearing.
MAKE A CLAIM: If you want a shot at the money with minimal effort, you file a claim. How much are we talking about? Probably enough to buy lunch for you and a friend, but if it’s less than $5 they don’t even pay the claim.
HOW TO FILE A CLAIM
It starts online at BCBS Settlement by you putting in your Unique ID found on the mailer into the website. If you don't have it, there's other information to enter.
Once logged in, you'll need your health insurance card info to fill out parts of it. You can select how you want your payment; Venmo, check, prepaid card. You’ll get a confirmation number.