- The Washington Times - Friday, September 22, 2006

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield announced yesterday that it will no longer be affiliated with the parent company’s plan in Delaware, ending a long-running dispute with the state’s top insurance official.

CareFirst said the company’s 300,000 Delaware patients would not be affected.

CareFirst has been affiliated with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware since 2000, but the relationship started to strain in 2003 when CareFirst began seeking to change its status to a for-profit health plan, a move the Maryland General Assembly rejected.

CareFirst, an Owings Mills, Md., company, covers nearly 3 million members in the District, Maryland and Northern Virginia.

The company said yesterday it would not appeal a recent decision by Delaware Insurance Commissioner Matt Denn denying the company’s request to turn into a for-profit organization and restructure the arrangement between the Delaware plan and CareFirst to allow the company to provide coverage in Delaware.

CareFirst said yesterday that Mr. Denn’s request for nearly 8,000 pages of documents before approving the proposed restructuring could jeopardize members’ confidentiality and would be costly.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association moved Thursday to approve restoration of the Delaware plan’s license.

Gregory Lopes

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