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US: Oscar Health suit against Blue Cross Blue Shield dismissed

 |  September 23, 2019

A federal judge in Florida dismissed New York-based Oscar Health’s lawsuit against Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of Florida over broker arrangements, according to a Friday (September 20)  ruling.

Judge Paul Byron of the Middle District Court of Florida granted a motion to dismiss Oscar’s lawsuit, ruling that BCBS Florida’s exclusive broker arrangements fall within the purview of state law.

“Florida Blue’s efforts at enforcing a lawful contract are not coercive, regardless of the tone or tenor of the language employed by Florida Blue,” Byron wrote in his judgment.

This marks the second legal defeat for Oscar against BCBS Florida after Judge Byron ruled in February that the company could use its brokers following Oscar’s request for an injunction.

Oscar first filed the suit in November 2018, challenging BCBS Florida’s broker arrangements were “improper, unlawful, and anticompetitive,” and designed to reduce competition in the Sunshine State’s insurance markets created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The company further asserted that BCBS Florida required brokers to sign exclusivity agreements to only sell BCBS’ individual ACA plans and keep Oscar out of the market.