LAFAYETTE, La (KLFY) — Millions of Blue Cross Blue Shield policy holders could be facing higher premiums if a proposed sale of the nonprofit insurer is approved to be bought by an out of state insurance company.

Blue Cross Blue Shield Louisiana, a non-profit tax-payer health insurer, proposed earlier this year to change their status to stock insurance company. This would allow them to be bought by Elevance Health, an out-of-state for-profit insurance company, which are set buy BCBS La. for $2.5 billion.

This proposal has led to concerns from policyholders and requires the Louisiana Department of Insurance to hold a public hearing. The hearing will allow the public to present evidence and comment on whether they approve or oppose the sale.

David Caldwell with LDI says, it’s up to the commissioner to have the final decision, on if he approves the acquisition or not.

“What the commissioner has to decide is whether after hearing all of the evidence and all of the public comments from everyone whether in fact this proposed reorganization is in the best interest of the policyholder,” said Caldwell

One person who wanted to remain anonymous says,

“About 1.9 million people in the state, a lot of them are school employees, government employees, and healthcare employees. It’s a significant change in healthcare for millions of people in the state of Louisiana,” said the anonymous citizen.

Senator Fred Mills says the Louisiana Senate will hold a hearing prior to the LDI hearing to allow Blue Cross Blue Shield to give testimony on the merits of the sale. He says the senate hearing will be Sept. 27 at the State Capitol at 10 a.m.

“That’s when information will come out from Blue Cross, they’ll talk about the merits of it, how it’ll help the policy holders and it’ll also give a chance for the public if they have any comments or concerns.” 

LDI will hold the public hearing Oct. 5-6 in Baton Rouge and via Zoom.