Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has decided to withdraw its application to sell to Elevance Health, according to documents filed with regulators. The nonprofit health insurer had planned to reorganize into a for-profit company and be purchased by Elevance for $2.5 billion. However, the decision to withdraw the application comes after a meeting between Blue Cross officials and Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, who has raised questions about the deal and opened an investigation into it. Blue Cross and Elevance have stated that they remain committed to refiling the plan of reorganization and acquisition application, but no specific date has been provided.
Blue Cross’ decision to withdraw its application is aimed at addressing concerns and giving stakeholders more time to learn about the advantages of the deal. The company plans to refile the application next year, after a new governor and insurance commissioner have taken office. This decision comes after growing concerns were raised by policyholders, doctors, hospitals, and political leaders about the impact of the sale on customers. Questions were also raised about the division of proceeds from the sale and the fairness of the deal. Blue Cross and Elevance will have to go through the same steps they did this year if they choose to move forward with the sale in the new year, including filing a plan of reorganization and an acquisition plan.
Despite the withdrawal of the application, Blue Cross and Elevance remain hopeful that they can close the deal in early 2024. The specifics of the reorganization and proposed sale will be modified in the new plan and proposal, but it is unclear which provisions will be amended and how long the new process will take. The company spokesperson, Cyndi Wakefield, stated that they are committed to following the processes set by law in order to best serve the people of Louisiana. The ultimate decision on the sale will now fall to Tim Temple, who will succeed Jim Donelon as Louisiana Insurance Commissioner in December.