Louisiana considering $2.5B sale of insurer to Elevance Health

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State officials in Louisiana are continuing discussions of a possible $2.5 billion sale of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, a not-for-profit health insurer used by nearly half of the state’s residents, to a much larger for-profit insurer based in Indianapolis.

A legislative committee held a nearly eight-hour meeting Monday to consider the proposed sale of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana to Elevance Health, one of the nation’s largest insurers, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported.

While any decision on whether or not to sell will come down to the state’s insurance commissioner and policyholders, legislators took the opportunity to question insurance regulators and gather more information, including about millions of dollars in regulatory fines issued to Elevance.

Policyholders have been split on a possible sale. Some fear that, under a for-profit company, they could see increases in their premiums and rates. Proponents of the proposed sale say that under Elevance there would be improved services and technology for 1.9 million Louisiana customers.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana executives say they are not making as much revenue as competitors and that the sale would put Blue Cross on more stable financial footing and bring improved services, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported.

As part of the proposed agreement, Elevance, which runs Blue Cross-branded insurers in more than a dozen other states, would take over the Blue Cross brand and customer base in Louisiana.

Next week, during a two-day hearing before the state’s Department of Insurance, executives of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana will make their case for the sale. For a deal to move forward, approval is needed from Insurance Commissioner Tim Temple and two-thirds of the Blue Cross members with voting rights.

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