Blue Cross Blue Shield
This case alleges that Blue Cross/Blue Shield entities across the country have entered into agreements not to compete with each other for customers of health insurance. Michael Hausfeld was appointed co-lead counsel, and Hausfeld partner Megan Jones was appointed to the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee. As such, since their appointment, Hausfeld personnel have been instrumental in designing and executing the strategy of this case. Art Bailey, another Hausfeld partner, was appointed to the Discovery Committee.
The litigation seeks damages on behalf of a class of tens of millions of subscribers, along with injunctive relief that would increase competition in the market for health insurance.
In 2014, Judge Proctor denied the Defendant Blues motions to dismiss, and the case proceeded into discovery against more than thirty defendants. In October 2015, the Court held that in order to streamline the action as a whole, the case against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama and Blue Cross Blue Shield Association would proceed on an accelerated basis. Discovery for the accelerated actions closed in December 2017.
In 2017, Plaintiffs moved for a summary judgment finding that agreements between the Blues to allocate territories should be accorded per se treatment under the Sherman Act. Plaintiffs also moved for a finding that Blue Cross Blue Shield Association rules that limit unbranded competition between the Blues should similarly be treated under a per se standard. These motions were based on extensive documentary evidence in which the Blues readily admit the anticompetitive nature of their rules. On April 5, 2018, the Court granted Plaintiffs' motion and found that the challenged restraints are subject to per se review under the Sherman Act.
On November 30, 2020, the Court granted preliminary approval to the proposed settlement agreement resolving the claims of Blue Cross Blue Shield subscribers for $2.67 billion. In addition to monetary relief, the settlement proposes systemic injunctive relief that will change the landscape for competition in healthcare.
In August 2022, Judge Proctor gave final approval to the $2.67 billion settlement on behalf of employers and individuals with private health insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield entities, in compensation for damages caused by the Blues’ agreements not to compete with each other. The final $2.67 billion settlement is the largest antitrust settlement in a case where the government had not itself prosecuted, investigated or been part of the case at all.
On October 25, 2023, a three-judge panel from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed final approval of the $2.67 billion Blue Cross Blue Shield settlement that was approved by the trial court in August 2022.
All related settlement documents are available on the class settlement website here.