Happy New Year everyone! With the turn of a new page, we are happy to be here for everyone with settlement updates and insights. It’s been over two months since the claim filing deadline passed in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Antitrust Settlement and we want to let folks know what’s going on with the claims process (hint: CCC officially uploaded our client data for the alternative contribution claims). We will also review a few objections being made in this case and provide an update on when determination letters can be expected. Lastly, good news! There was a change in regard to late claims and if you have not filed already we may be able to still help. 

First things first: the objections. In most large settlements, you will find objections in the final days prior to approval. Amidst this entire settlement, BCBS never actually admitted fault and they wrote off this settlement under “costs of doing business. Ultimately, since this cost goes on BCBS’s tax forms as a business expense, objectors claim they will try to make up for it in future years. One of the objectors argues that to cover the lawsuit they settled, Blue Cross will simply raise their health insurance prices again. Instead, they would like to see the settlement fund come out of executives’ paychecks- a tough suggestion this late in the game. Regardless, objections like these could take up to 9 months to sort out, and that doesn’t even include the final approval process. Whether or not this objection will bring about lasting change remains to be seen, but we suspect BCBS and the insurance industry as a whole has seen increased regulation that should hopefully stifle bad behavior. 

Now in true government timing, a massive objection came in extremely late, but from a powerful group- the Department of Labor. There have been rumblings of a potential third-class period being added to the settlement. This class period would look to better include harmed claimants with ERISA insurance plans. These are plans that are protected under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. They include things like Pension plans, profit-sharing plans, stock bonus plans, money purchase plans, and 401(k) plans. If this third claim filing period were to go into effect, even more people would be able to get money for allegedly being overcharged by BCBS. 

In the end what does this all mean for you? Well, because of these objections, payments are delayed, but on the flip side, late claims are being accepted. All Individuals, Insured Groups, and Self-Funded Accounts that purchased or were enrolled in a Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance or administrative services plan during the applicable Class Period can still file a late claim with the inclusion of a statement on why the claim is being filed late (CCC has done this 1,000’s of times. We can take care of it with little hassle.). 

And finally, the determination letters. Given CCC just submitted data for the alternative contribution claims, the determination letters are to follow. Unfortunately, until the objections are resolved we will not see those letters go out or the claims review process continue. The case will most likely gain final approval in late 2022 and distribute payments in early 2023 if we are lucky. This was a lot to read, so if you made it this far and need any help navigating the settlement, please call us at (312)-204-6969.

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