Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has chosen to withdraw its reorganization plan and Elevance Health acquisition application from the Louisiana Department of Insurance, according to the nonprofit health insurer.
Elevance Health, formerly known as Anthem, is the largest for-profit health care company managed by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.
The action, described by the BCBSLA as a delay, is to provide more time for stakeholders to understand the benefits of the transaction and how to determine and value the quality of service that will continue.
There is no new timeline for refilling the reorganization plan.
“The connection between BCBSLA and Elevance Health remains the right partnership at the right time for the best health outcomes Louisianans need and deserve,” according to the Elevance Health joint statement. “We are determined to achieve these goals. However, one theme continues to emerge, and that is our main stakeholders wanting more time for questions to be answered about the reorganization plan. . BCBSLA and Elevance Health do not believe this is the right time to hold public hearings and a policyholder vote.”
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT
The merger will give BCBSLA access to Elevance Health’s pharmacy benefit manager, Carelon, and its prescription drug savings program, EnsureRx.
This will preserve BCBSLA as a viable, local company into the future, Blue Cross said.
“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Elevance Health entered into this agreement with the mutual goal of improving the health and life outcomes of all Louisianans by offering innovative programs with the highest quality services that BCBSLA stakeholders have relied on for decades,” the companies said. “We believe our partnership will preserve BCBSLA as a vibrant, local company well into the future.”
THE BIGGER TREND
The $2.5 billion merger was first announced in January.
The delay follows political pressure from attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Jeff Landry, according to Unfiltered With Kiran. Landry told both companies the deal shouldn’t be finalized until after a new governor and insurance commissioner are elected, according to the report.
Also, political and health care leaders have raised concerns about potential premium increases and how the proceeds from the sale would be split between policyholders and a foundation that Blue Cross said would create control, the report says.