Policy: Health Care

Insurer to acquire Lovelace Health Plan customers

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News,Business,Health Care,Insurance Industry

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico's largest commercial health insurer is expanding.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico announced Wednesday it has obtained final regulatory approval for its acquisition of Lovelace Health Plan and Lovelace's Medicare Advantage contract.

Terms of the acquisition were not announced, but Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico said the transaction is expected to be complete Sunday.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, a division of Division of Health Care Service Corp., has 400,000 members, and the insurer said it'll pick up nearly 100,000 additional members from Lovelace Health Plan.

The Lovelace members include ones belonging to individual, small and large group, and self-funded employer plans, as well as its Medicare Advantage plans.

"We have worked with many key Lovelace leaders during this transaction, in order to ensure a smooth transition for these new members," said Kurt Shipley, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico.

"We will work closely with Lovelace members, doctors, and other health care professionals to address each individual's health care needs, while helping them successfully navigate the evolving health care system," Shipley added.

This acquisition does not include Lovelace's hospitals, providers, pharmacies or clinics. Those include facilities in Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe and Roswell.

A review by the U.S. Department of Justice completed the review process for the transaction, Blue Cross and Blue Shield said.

The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the New Mexico insurance superintendent approved it previously.

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