The proposed partnership of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) and Elevance Health marks the beginning of a better future for healthcare in Louisiana. A public hearing on the merger in front of the Louisiana Department of Insurance is scheduled for February 14th, after which BCBSLA’s policyholders will vote on the proposal.
Healthcare in Louisiana has been a struggle for some time. Because of Louisiana having the highest poverty rate in the country, access to healthy food, stable housing, and social support is an issue for many citizens. All of these issues directly correlate to poor health outcomes. Louisiana is top five in percentage of adults with obesity and diabetes, and top ten in percentage of adults with heart disease. Despite these struggles, healthcare in Louisiana remains among the most expensive in the nation. The incidence of cancer in Louisianans is also above the national average, especially for Black adults. Protecting the health of our most vulnerable people is the Godly thing to do. The introduction of Elevance, rated as one of the best companies to work for in America, would serve to bridge the gap between Louisiana and its fellow states, helping to care for our most vulnerable.
Louisianans opposed to the bill have expressed fears that they will lose their current provider following the merger, as well as face increased premiums. However, the framework of the new deal ensures that both healthcare premiums and current provider networks will remain the same, meaning that Louisianans currently under BCBSLA’s care will keep their current provider network as well as being given expanded access to over 95% of American hospitals. This expanded nationwide network will be a great help to Louisianans who travel often for work, including the state’s over 10,000 commercial truck drivers, ensuring their continued protection while they work to keep our economy strong.
This deal is not only beneficial for the citizens of Louisiana, but for BCBSLA’s nearly 3,000 employees, whose jobs are protected in the framework of the new proposal. Not only does this ensure the protection of current employees, but would allow for the introduction of more jobs to the state following the merger. By protecting jobs, this deal also protects communities.
This re-written deal ensures that citizens will keep their in-network providers and BCBSLA employees will keep their jobs. With these changes, the deal would serve to improve healthcare access for the 1.9 million Louisiana residents currently under BCBSLA coverage, ensuring a better future for the people of Louisiana.