For more than a year, Varnum has pursued claims against BCBSM on behalf of more than a dozen companies that use BCBSM to administer their self-funded health benefit programs. Four disputes have been settled, and Varnum is actively litigating ten more in federal court, each of which alleges that BCBSM violated federal law (ERISA) by charging hidden fees. The pending lawsuits collectively seek repayment of many millions of dollars in fees charged by BCBSM.
The United States District Court recently entered summary judgment in favor of Varnum’s clients, holding that BCBSM engaged in self-dealing when it unilaterally decided how much in fees to pay itself.* This was a clear violation of ERISA and established liability against BCBSM. Those cases will now proceed to trial to determine the amount BCBSM owes the plaintiffs for its violations of law and whether the plaintiffs filed their claims in a timely manner (statute of limitations).
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Health Law Updates, Insurance Updates
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