Blue Cross claims Ford’s health insurance lawsuit was filed too late

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According to the insurer, the automaker took too long to file the suit accusing them of conspiracy.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and that health insurance company’s Michigan affiliate are seeking to have a US judge dismiss a lawsuit filed against them by Ford Motor Co.

Ford accused the insurer of an artificial inflation conspiracy for how much the automaker paid in premiums.

The automaker stated that the insurer was recording higher health insurance premiums and other commercial medical coverage services expenses that were being paid. The lawsuit included two filings against Blue Cross.

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The insurer has argued that Ford has failed to demonstrate that the insurers were blocking any competing company from the sale of coverage products. The insurer also alleged that the claims made by Ford, which were filed in Detroit federal court last May, were either mainly or fully outside the legal antitrust lawsuit statute of limitations.

The health insurance company said in its filing that it had operated with complete transparency.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan stated in its filing that it “has been operating openly — in full view of Ford — for years and invested billions of dollars building the Blue brand in Michigan. If Ford had a claim to bring, it should have brought it long ago.”

The lawsuit filed by the automaker was a component of a larger multibillion-dollar antitrust case it filed against Blue Cross and which has been litigated for over a decade, since 2012. Ford was one of a number of other large US companies that chose not to participate in a $2.7 billion settlement in an Alabama federal court in 2020.

That settlement is currently under US appeals court review. There is also another ongoing separate class action suit from healthcare providers.

Ford accused Blue Cross organizations in its complaint of having implemented a strategy to hold off competition, reducing the automaker’s “opportunity to purchase health insurance products and services from a lower cost competitor and/or at a price set by the free market.”

According to Ford, it has paid over $500 million on premiums since 2009 for some of the products Blue Cross provides. The lawsuit the automaker has filed is seeking triple damages, among other compensations.

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