Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Indianapolis, said it would decide whether to go forward with an initial public offering after a vote by members Oct. 29, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina said it was exploring whether to go public as well.
Anthem's demutualization would require a two-thirds majority among voting members, as well as approval from Indiana's insurance commissioner, a decision expected to come by Nov. 1. The company operates Blues plans in eight states. Anthem spokeswoman Lauren Green-Caldwell said the company would decide after members' votes are tallied whether to launch an IPO before year-end, as now planned, or wait for a more-fertile economic climate. She declined to project the value of the IPO.
Meanwhile, the North Carolina Blues said in a written statement, "Although our board of trustees has not voted to convert, we are ready to begin these talks." The company recently completed a $202 million purchase of Partners National Health Plans of North Carolina.