Maryland and the national Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association announced a tentative agreement ending the association's threat to strip CareFirst Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Owings Mills, Md., of the Blues trademark. The proposed deal would lock CareFirst into a not-for-profit mission for five years, a main goal of a new state law aimed at reforming the 3.2 million-member insurer. However, it also would soften the law by requiring the replacement of five CareFirst board members instead of 10 and limiting state control over executive compensation. The Blues association denounced the original law, signed in April, as a state takeover and filed a lawsuit to pull CareFirst's license to operate a Blues plan. Judge Frederick Motz of U.S. District Court, Baltimore, must approve the deal, and a hearing is scheduled to take place today. CareFirst officials said they were not included in the negotiations and were unsure if their concerns had been addressed. -- by Laura B. Benko
Md., Blues association resolve CareFirst dispute
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