The $2.5B Elevance Health, BCBSLA merger is back from the dead

Two months ago, Elevance Health and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana hit the pause button on a potential $2.5 billion merger in the midst of regulatory scrutiny.

The insurers brought the deal back to life this week, though, with BCBSLA filing an updated application on Thursday seeking to reorganize as a for-profit, which would allow it to be purchased by Elevance Health. Per the New Orleans Times-Picayune, many of the plan's initial proposals remain, but BCBSLA has made changes to the planned nonprofit foundation that will roll out should it be finalized.

The newspaper reported that the Accelerate Louisiana Initiative will receive 91% of the proceeds from the merger.

In a joint statement to Fierce Healthcare, the companies said that the new "filing reflects the input and vision of our communities to ensure that we deliver on these commitments."

“Together, we have taken the time to listen to our stakeholders to bring a transparent, seamless transaction before the Louisiana Department of Insurance and our policyholders," the two insurers said.

In addition, the payers said that they believe coming together will allow BCBSLA to continue "as a vibrant, local company long into the future," but one that has access to additional resources and opportunities to innovate thanks to Elevance.

To address a major concern from state regulators, the nonprofit's board will grow to include a member appointed by the governor as well as a non-voting "observer" that would be tapped by the state's insurance commissioner, according to the Times-Picayune report.

Accelerate Louisiana's goals have been made more clear and narrow, and the foundation will also be incorporated in Louisiana rather than Delaware, according to the article.