I almost skipped over the email when it arrived last week in my personal account.
The email's title said "Blue Cross Blue Shield Settlement" and I initially thought it was just one of the dozens of junk emails I receive every day.
Once I examined the email a bit closer, I realized it was an opportunity to file a claim as part of a tentative $2.67 billion settlement class-action settlement against more than 35 Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance plans, including Highmark.
I'm sure many of you have received similar emails or postcards in recent months.
The settlement was reached in October 2020 after the Blue Cross Blue Shield plans were sued for allegedly violating antitrust laws, according to https://www.bcbssettlement.com, the settlement's official website.
The plans were accused of illegally entering into an agreement not to compete with each other and to restrict competition among themselves. As part of the settlement, they deny all allegations of wrongdoing.
You may be eligible for money if you were enrolled in a Blue Cross Blue Shield individual or group insurance plan between Feb. 7, 2008 and Oct. 16, 2020. You also may be eligible if you were enrolled in a self-funded account from Sept. 1, 2015 through Oct. 16, 2020.
Dependents and beneficiaries are not eligible to receive payments.
So, the question I had was, how much money will I receive?
It depends on how many valid claims are filed, how much I paid in premiums, and whether my plan was fully insured or self-funded. The settlement fund is estimated to be around $1.9 billion, after attorney fees and administration costs are deducted.
There will likely be hundreds of thousands of claims, perhaps millions, so the best bet is that I will receive enough money to go out for dinner but not enough to pay for the entire family.
If you didn't receive an email or postcard about the settlement and feel that you qualify, you can file a claim on the settlement's website, which I mentioned above.
Those who received an email or postcard have a unique ID with which to file their claim, but the website offers a way to file if you don't have a unique ID. You can also mail your claim to:
Blue Cross Blue Shield Settlement, c/o JND Legal Administration, PO Box 91390, Seattle, WA 98111.
But don't dawdle. The deadline for filing claims in Nov. 5.
HERE to HELP: Have a consumer question you'd like us to help you with? Leave a message with David Bruce at 870-1736, send an email to [email protected] or send mail to 205 W. 12th St., Erie, PA 16534.