Carter Beck –
October 12, 2021

On June 8th Stall Legal reported on the Blue Cross Blue Shield multi-billion dollar settlement.  As a quick refresher, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and all 37 Blue plans were sued in a variety of class action lawsuits which were largely divided into 2 groups – one group was brought by those who purchased health insurance coverage from a Blue plan and the other group was brought by providers[1].  The lawsuits were managed through multi-district litigation in the US District Court for the Northern District of Alabama Southern Division.  The Court granted preliminary approval of the health insurance purchasers’ class on November 30, 2020.  Since that time a number of activities have occurred, and some are still yet to occur, the most important of which is the claim submission deadline of November 5, 2021.

The first major event after approval of the preliminary settlement was notice to individuals who are eligible to make a claim.  The notices were mailed or emailed beginning in the spring of 2021.  The mailed notice was a post-card that provided basic information about the settlement and alerted claimants that they had the right to submit a claim and/or opt-out of the class settlement. The opt-out notice had to be postmarked not later than July 28, 2021.  Additionally, the notice specified that claimants must submit a valid claim online at or postmarked by mail not later than November 5, 2021.  If you or your business have misplaced your notice card or your claim ID number, you can still submit a claim by filing a claim here.

One of the questions of interest has been “how much am I entitled to?”  This is an interesting question.  The settlement fund established by the settlement is $2.67 billion.  Of this amount, it is estimated that $1.9 billion will be paid to Blue policy holders, and the balance represents attorneys’ fees ($667.5M) and costs and service awards ($101M).  Of the $1.9 billion, a settlement fund of $1.78 billion will be created for individual and insured groups and a fund of $120 million will be created for self-funded groups.

The FAQs published at the settlement website[2] indicate that the amount that class members will receive is “depends on several factors including, among other things, the number of valid claims that are filed, the premiums paid to one or more of the settling [Blue] defendants during the class [settlement] period, and whether [the] insurance was fully insured or self-funded.”  (FAQ 11).  It has been posited that the amounts policy holders may receive will be negligible, some estimating less than $14.00[3] for an individual policy maintained for 5 years.  And, the FAQs expressly provide that no payments of less than $5.00 will be made. 

The next significant milestone along the settlement continuum is the fairness hearing, which is scheduled for October 20, 2021 at 10:00 AM CT.  At that time the settlement and all expenses will be reviewed by the court for approval.  Attendance at the fairness hearing is not required for those who have submitted a claim.

If you have any questions about the status of the settlement or claim submission process, please contact one of your Stall Legal attorneys for assistance.

[1] In re: Blue Cross and Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation MDL 2406, N.D. Ala., Master File No. 2:13-cv-20000-RDP


[3] “BCBS settlement offer is real, but don’t count on a windfall”, posted Aug. 2, 2021