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Blue Cross Blue Shield cancels acquisition under Elevance Health in last-minute switch-up

5 months 3 days 6 hours ago Wednesday, February 14 2024 Feb 14, 2024 February 14, 2024 9:33 AM February 14, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

After multiple votes and contention, Blue Cross Blue Shield announced it would cancel its acquisition under Elevance Health. 

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BCBS issued the following statement Wednesday:

BATON ROUGE – Since we announced our intent to be acquired by Elevance Health last year, it has become abundantly clear that the work we do each day is not only appreciated by our members, providers, group leaders and broker partners, it is highly valued.

We continue to hear from our stakeholders that they want Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana to remain their trusted partner in their healthcare journey, and we pursued this transaction to help us do exactly that - by changing for the better. However, it is clear that our stakeholders need more time and information to understand the benefits of the changes we have proposed. This is why we have decided to again pause the process in our proposed transaction with Elevance Health. This means that we are withdrawing our filing with the Louisiana Department of Insurance. We are also cancelling the policyholder proxy and vote process, including the special policyholder meeting that was scheduled for Feb. 21.

We know that change is hard, even when change is made for the right reasons. We continue to believe we need a strong partner to help position us for a vibrant future, and to help us make healthcare more affordable and to help us do more to improve the health of members and policyholders. However, now is not the right time to make this bold step.

BCBSLA remains focused on serving our customers and remaining the healthcare partner of choice in Louisiana for the next 90 years and beyond.

The abrupt notice comes on what would have been the first day of a two-day vote to finalize the merger, in which a small percentage of BCBS policyholders would be able to vote on whether they wanted to merge. 

The merger was announced last year in January. After backlash in September, BCBS paused the deal before a resubmission in December. 

The deal's official hearing was scheduled to restart on Wednesday before the cancellation was announced. The vote would have allowed thousands of policyholders to voice their opinions regarding the merger without the influence of lawmakers. 

Elevance Health issued the following statement later Wednesday morning:

We are supportive of BCBSLA’s decision to withdraw their plan of reorganization. We will continue to meaningfully engage community members who are truly interested in better health outcomes and more affordable healthcare. We remain committed to this partnership and will work with BCBSLA on next steps in bringing that to reality.

Read the statement from the Louisiana Department of Insurance below.

Late yesterday evening, Blue Cross notified the LDI that it has chosen to withdraw its Plan of Reorganization. The hearing scheduled for today and tomorrow is therefore canceled, and [LDI] currently has no information regarding Blue Cross' intentions moving forward. Any questions about why Blue Cross is withdrawing should be referred to BCBSLA.

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