Blue Cross can't delay state's switch to new insurer

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska can't temporarily stop the state from switching to a new insurer to administer its employee healthcare system, a judge ruled Wednesday.

A Lancaster County District Judge determined that Blue Cross didn't sufficiently prove that it would suffer "irreparable harm" if UnitedHealth was allowed to take over administration of the health system and thereby end Blue Cross's 27 years of service, while its lawsuit continued. Blue Cross also failed to prove its claim that the state used a faulty scoring system to select UnitedHealth, reported the Lincoln Journal Star.

In its lawsuit filed in April, Blue Cross alleged that Nebraska conducted a contract-bidding process that was "erroneous, unfair, legally flawed, believed to be conducted in a manner contrary to industry standards, and in violation of the state's own relevant and applicable requirements relating to the handling and consideration of the [request for proposal]."

However, the judge said he hasn't yet considered the actual lawsuit filed by Blue Cross that claims the state violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). The state has maintained that the act doesn't apply on the procurement of goods and services, the Associated Press reported.

Lawyers for Nebraska and UnitedHealth argued last week that the state already rejected Blue Cross's administrative appeal and that unsuccessful bidders don't have the right to sue, according to the Omaha World-Herald.

To learn more:
- read the Omaha World-Herald article
- see the Lincoln Journal Star article
- check out the Associated Press article