In September of 2016, a group of major health insurance providers, also known as the Blues, settled a lawsuit with the federal government. The suit alleged that the Blues had conspired to keep prices high and limit competition. The $11 billion settlement is the largest in American history and will likely result in changes to how healthcare is delivered and paid for. While the specifics of the Bcbs Settlement are still being worked out, it is clear that consumers stand to benefit from lower premiums and more choices.
In 2013, the Department of Justice announced that Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Michigan had agreed to pay $151 million to settle allegations that it had overcharged the federal government for Medicare services. The settlement was notable not only for its size, but also for the fact that it was one of the first times that a health insurer had been held liable for overcharging the government.
The allegations against Bcbs Settlement stemmed from a whistleblower lawsuit filed by two former employees in 2006. The suit alleged that BCBS had inflated the amount it charged for outpatient services and that this had resulted in overpayments by the government. In addition to paying $151 million to the federal government, BCBS also agreed to refund $32 million to Medicare beneficiaries who had been overcharged.
The settlement was hailed as a victory by both prosecutors and consumer advocates.
The fallout from the $600 million settlement between the Department of Justice and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBS) is still being felt, with many wondering what the long-term impacts will be. The DOJ accused BCBS of violating federal antitrust laws by conspiring to keep prices high for health insurance plans in 14 states. The settlement requires Bcbs Settlement to offer more affordable plans and allow customers to choose their own doctors.
While this may seem like a victory for consumers, some experts are concerned that the fallout from the settlement could be far-reaching. One worry is that bcbs settlement payout date 2022 will raise rates on other plans in order to make up for the money they are losing as a result of the settlement. This could mean higher premiums for everyone, not just those who have BCBS insurance.
In late October, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Office of Thrift Supervision announced a proposed settlement with 13 large banks regarding their actions leading up to and during the financial crisis. The proposed settlement, which is still subject to public comment and final approval by regulators, would require the banks to pay $20 billion in penalties and provide $100 billion in relief to homeowners and struggling communities.
The settlement has implications for both consumers and taxpayers. For consumers, it provides some relief from abusive mortgage practices that have caused widespread pain over the past few years. For taxpayers, it means that the cost of bailing out these banks will be somewhat lower than it would have been otherwise.
The world may never know exactly what went on between the Department of Justice and the big banks in the weeks leading up to the landmark $13 billion settlement, but one thing is for sure: The banks are feeling the heat.
In the days since, all five of the biggest banks have announced multi-billion dollar settlements with various state and federal agencies. JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial have all agreed to pay fines totaling more than $25 billion.
Most experts agree that these settlements are only a small part of what’s to come. The big banks are still under investigation for a wide range of alleged misdeeds, including manipulating foreign exchange rates, rigging LIBOR rates and selling toxic mortgage-backed securities.
The BCBS settlement is a huge win for the American people. It is the largest healthcare settlement in history and it proves that the big insurance companies are finally being held accountable. This bcbs settlement payout date will help to improve healthcare for everyone and it will also help to reduce healthcare costs.
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