May 4—Notices about a Blue Cross Blue Shield antitrust settlement being sent to current and former customers are legitimate, the result of a $2.7 billion class action lawsuit from last year.
In the lawsuit, customers of the insurance service accused Blue Cross Blue Shield, a conglomeration of insurance firms, of conspiring to avoid competition between its 36 member companies. In November, U.S. District Court Judge David Proctor in Birmingham approved a settlement in the suit.
Customers are now receiving cards and emails notifying them about opportunities to collect a payout from that settlement. In spite of a recent spate of telemarketing fraud attempts, the notices and website they direct to, www.bcbssettlement.com, are legitimate.
Those who purchased or were enrolled in a Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance plan between 2008 and 2020 may be eligible for a payout.
Options available to consumers include:
— Filing a claim (either online or by mail), which will bind the consumer by the settlement's conditions, which include giving up the right to sue Blue Cross for claims in the case in the future. The deadline to file is Nov. 5.
— Ask to be excluded, receiving no payment but keeping the right to sue. The deadline to opt out is July 28.
— Object to the suit via written letter to the court. Deadline is July 28.
— Attend a fairness hearing about the settlement on Oct. 20 at 10 a.m. at the District Court courtroom in Birmingham.
— Take no action, resulting in no payment but remaining bound by the terms of the settlement.
For more information, visit www.bcbssettlement.com or call JND Legal Administration, attorneys in the suit, at 888-681-1142.
Assistant Metro Editor Ben Nunnally: 256-235-3560.