The board of MCD Foundation, the parent corporation of the Medical Center of Delaware in Wilmington, has authorized a bid to acquire Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Delaware.
That offer would force a showdown with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey and, ultimately, Indianapolis-based Anthem for control of the Wilmington-based plan.
"We think the offer represents a much better deal for the citizens of Delaware to keep healthcare affordable and accessible locally," an MCD Foundation spokeswoman said. However, she declined to provide details on the bid until it was officially presented to the Delaware Blues.
In May, the New Jersey Blues announced a definitive agreement to take over the Delaware plan in a deal valued at $103 million. Later that month, Anthem, a for-profit insurer, announced a deal to acquire the New Jersey Blues.
The New Jersey Blues referred requests for comment on the likely MCD Foundation bid to the Delaware plan.
The Delaware Blues called the anticipated bid "an unexpected and unsolicited development."
"We are in the process of being purchased by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey," a spokeswoman said.
"If and when we actually receive a serious offer" from MCD Foundation, a written statement said, "it will be considered by our board of directors to the extent permitted under the current agreement with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Jersey."