Health Insurance

Elevance Health to Acquire Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

What You Need to Know

  • Elevance has 47 million health plan enrollees.
  • Louisiana Blue has 1.9 million enrollees.
  • One thing both have in common: a relatively low share of the private Medicare plan market.

Elevance Health — the health insurance giant formerly known as Anthem — has agreed to acquire Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.

Elevance, an Indianapolis-based company with about $160 billion in annual revenue and 47 million health plan enrollees, would be getting a Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based carrier with $4 billion in annual revenue and 1.9 million health plan enrollees.

Elevance expects to pay for Louisiana Blue, a policyholder-owned mutual insurer, by creating a “multibillion-dollar foundation,” the companies said.

Anthem covers about 15% of all US residents and 2.9 million, or 6.6%, of the 44 million residents with Medicare Advantage or Medicare supplement insurance coverage.

Louisiana Blue covers 41% of its state’s 4.6 million residents, and it has a 3.7% share of its state’s Medicare market, according to 2021 Louisiana Department of Insurance data.

What It Means

For clients worried about their investment portfolios, the deal implies that corporate buyers still have plenty of cash and can help stabilize the valuations of attractive companies.

For clients who have Medicare coverage, or who are thinking about future coverage needs, the deal may mean that Blue Cross and Blue Shield carriers will be in a position to compete harder for Medicare plan business in Louisiana and in the rest of the country. That could increase the quality of private Medicare plan options and keep down the cost.

Louisiana Blue

Six New Orleans hospitals formed the core of Louisiana Blue in 1934, which was originally known as the Hospital Service Association of New Orleans.

Louisiana Blue’s official name is Louisiana Health Service & Indemnity Company. The company has about 3,000employees.