In 2021, Snopes readers reported receiving postcards in the mail alerting them to a settlement agreement regarding Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance, with many wondering whether the postcards were to be believed or if it was a scam.
The settlement is real, as Bloomberg Law explains. It's an antitrust case years in the making, involving scores of lawyers who worked on it for hundreds of thousands of hours:
Filed in February 2012, the case alleged Blue Cross Blue Shield health plans divided up insurance markets across the country and agreed not to compete with one another across those markets. The settlement agreement includes changes to the Blue Cross business model designed to enhance the market for health insurance, including eliminating a cap on revenue that BCBS affiliates could earn selling other health insurance plans.
A $2.67 billion settlement was reached on Oct. 16, 2020. According to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Settlement Website, "The Court has not decided who is right or wrong. Instead, Plaintiffs and Settling Defendants have agreed to a Settlement to avoid the risk and cost of further litigation."
Those covered by Blue Cross Blue Shield between February 2008 and October 2020 could be eligible to be part of the settlement. AL.com described the case, which originated in Alabama, as "one of the largest health care settlements in U.S. history." AL.com further reported:
Members of the class covered in the lawsuit have four options. They can file a claim as part of the settlement, opt out of the settlement and maintain the ability to file a separate lawsuit, object to the settlement in a letter to the court or do nothing and receive no payment. Those who wish to object must postmark their letters by July 28, 2021.
Proctor will hold a fairness hearing on October 20, 2021 where some affected members will be allowed to speak. The settlement could be finalized later this year.