Blue Cross Blue Shield Notice: Do I Have to Do Anything?
Many people have received this card in the mail and are wondering what it means. Lawyers do a great job of freaking people out with fun phrases like your rights may be affected and legally bound by the Settlement and you will not receive any money.
So here's the scoop...
In essence, a group of people filed a lawsuit against Blue Cross Blue Shield accusing them of unfair business practices that allegedly drove up the prices of healthcare plans. BCBS denied the claims but agreed to settle to avoid having to spend more time and money, and who knows...maybe even open the door to other issues.
They agreed to settle for $2.67 billion of which $1.9 billion will be paid to eligible plan members who make claims.
If you received a card, it's because it is believed that you were covered by BCBS between 2008 and 2020 and that you may be eligible to receive a portion of the settlement. But you do not have to have a card to make a claim.
If you know that you were covered by BCBS between 2008 and 2020, you can go to www.BCBSsettlement.com to make a claim.
DO I HAVE TO MAKE A CLAIM?
No, you don't have to do anything. But if you want your portion of the settlement, you will have to make a claim. The process is pretty simple and shouldn't take more than a few minutes. Whether you make a claim or not, don't get too starry eyed over the $1.9 billion. If the settlement is approved, most of that money will likely go to businesses or large organizations around the country who paid for plans for their employees. Individuals will still be eligible for a percentage of the premiums they paid.
WHY DOES IT SAY MY RIGHTS MAY BE AFFECTED?
You have the right to file your own lawsuit against BCBS, but you would have to opt out of this particular settlement class by July 28, 2021. Basically you would be saying that you don't agree to the terms of this settlement and want to keep your right to file your own lawsuit. If you do absolutely nothing before the opt-out deadline or claim deadline, you would be forfeiting your right to file your own lawsuit and you would miss out on the chance to claim your portion of the settlement. If you do opt out, you won't be able to receive any money from this settlement.
HOW MUCH MONEY CAN I EXPECT?
Frankly, probably not that much. First, the settlement hasn't even been officially approved, and that won't be determined until October of 2021. Then, employers who paid for health plans or partially paid for health plans will receive the majority of the funds unless you choose to submit additional documentation to support why you should receive more of the percentage of your premiums. Most people aren't going to do that, but if you have the documentation, you do have the right to.
Ultimately it will come down to this...the more time you were covered by BCBS between 2008 and 2020 and the more premiums you paid during that time, the more money you will be eligible to receive IF you file a claim. If you don't file a claim by November 5, 2021, you won't receive anything.
WHEN SHOULD I SCHEDULE MY DISNEY VACATION?
You should probably hold off on making grand plans for the money you might receive from this settlement. First, the settlement hasn't even been approved yet (that won't happen until at least October 2021), and then the claims administrator will have to evaluate all the claims submitted from all over the country to determine who is entitled to what. And unless you are a business owner who offered BCBS benefits to lots of employees for much of that time period in question, you are probably looking at being able to buy a pair of mouse ears at Disney rather than being able to fund your vacation.
SO IS IT EVEN WORTH IT?
It takes minutes to fill out the claim form, and you could possibly get a few dollars (or even a few hundred depending on your situation) back in your pocket. You don't have to hire a lawyer to represent you - that has already been done. You don't have to go to court or file any lawsuits. Basically all you have to do is raise your hand to collect whatever money you are eligible for. So if that's worth the few minutes it takes you to make a claim, then you might say it's worth it.