Elevance Health buys Louisiana insurer, pushing operations into 15th state

Elevance Health Inc. said Monday it has agreed to buy Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana for an undisclosed sum. The deal will expand the Indianapolis-based health insurer, formerly known as Anthem Inc., into the 15th state where it can sell its health plans.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has more than 1.9 million members, making it the smaller player in the deal. Elevance Health had 47.3 million members as of the end of its third quarter. Elevance Health will report full-year results on Wednesday.

The two companies said the combination builds on a seven-year collaboration in Louisiana through joint ownership of Healthy Blue, which serves Medicaid and Medicare Dual Eligible members.

“Elevance Health and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana will combine strengths to provide services unique to the needs of Louisiana to better serve members through a whole health personalized approach,” Elevance CEO Gail Boudreaux said in written remarks.

Dr. Steven Udvarhelyi, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, said that after almost 90 years of independence, the company decided it needed a partner to serve customers “faster and better than we could alone.”

The combined company’s Louisiana headquarters will remain in Baton Rouge and will continue to serve its customers locally through its workforce of approximately 3,000 employees, both companies said.

Elevance Health, which sells its health plans under the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield brand, said the transaction will create a “multi-billion-dollar foundation” once the deal closes.

The acquisition is expected to close later this year and is subject to customary closing conditions and receipt of certain required approvals. Upon closing, Elevance Health’s affiliated Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield plans will now operate within 15 states across the country.

The companies made the announcement after the markets closed. Elevance Health finished the day at $477.94, down 0.3%. The stock was unchanged in aftermarket trading.

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