BCBS Association cuts rule that hampered competition

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A rule that limited competition between the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association's 35 insurers is no more, a change stemming from a $2.7 billion antitrust settlement, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The rule placed limits on the amount of non-Blue revenue plans could generate and hampered competition among one another. It required two-thirds of a Blue plan's national net revenue for health plans and related services to come from a Blue-branded business, according to the Journal.

The rule's end, which occurred April 27, was a promise the BCBS Association made under the settlement agreement. Experts predict lifting the rule will allow Blue plans to compete more with each other, as more revenue can come from non-Blue business, according to the report.

In a statement to the Journal, BCBS Association said its "companies will remain focused on the goal we have had for over 90 years — improving access to quality healthcare for all Americans — as the settlement continues through the court approval process and is implemented according to terms of the agreement."

A federal judge has yet to give final approval to the settlement. 

Read more here.

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