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Mega-health care merger paused after backlash

2 months 1 week 4 days ago Monday, September 25 2023 Sep 25, 2023 September 25, 2023 4:22 PM September 25, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - A plan for an Indiana-based health care corporation to acquire Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has been put on hold after policy-holders, politicians and others raised concerns.

BCBS Louisiana on Monday said it will withdraw its plan to be absorbed by Elevance Health -- which still required approval -- with the intention to resubmit at a later time.

The company shared the following statement with WBRZ News 2:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) and Elevance Health entered into this agreement with a mutual goal to improve the health outcomes and lives of all Louisianians by offering new programs alongside the highest quality services that BCBSLA stakeholders have relied on for decades. The connection between BCBSLA and Elevance Health remains the right partnership at the right time for the best health outcomes that Louisianians need and deserve.

We are determined to meet these goals. However, one theme continues to emerge, and that is our key stakeholders would like more time for questions to be addressed about the plan of reorganization. Since we are committed to making sure these questions are answered, BCBSLA and Elevance Health do not believe it is the right time to hold public hearings and a policyholder vote. We have chosen to withdraw BCBSLA’s plan of reorganization and Elevance Health’s acquisition application from the Louisiana Department of Insurance to provide more time for key stakeholders to understand the benefits this transaction will provide to Louisianians and how the quality service our stakeholders know, and value will continue. 

We believe that our partnership can best preserve BCBSLA as a vibrant, local company long into the future. It’s clear that policyholders, brokers, providers and members trust and appreciate BCBSLA. That’s why this transaction remains the right step that will ultimately result in more advanced capabilities and services for customers and partners than BCBSLA could develop on its own. BCBSLA and Elevance Health will continue to work diligently during the coming weeks with state and parish leaders, employer customers, providers and policyholders to address their questions. We remain committed to refiling the plan of reorganization and acquisition application.

The companies had announced the acquisition in January. They have worked in a partnership dating to 2017, they noted at the time.

BCBS Louisiana is based in Baton Rouge and serves 1.9 million Louisianians. The company's history stretches to 1934.

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