The Delaware Supreme Court upheld an order that earlier this year allowed Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Delaware to break off from its Owings Mills, Md.-based parent, CareFirst. The court's ruling stems from reform legislation passed in 2003 by the Maryland General Assembly in response to not-for-profit CareFirst's failed merger with for-profit WellPoint Health Networks. The law required CareFirst to replace the majority of its directors and to retain its not-for-profit status for at least five years. In June, Delaware Insurance Commissioner Donna Lee Williams ruled the Maryland law violated the affiliation agreement she had approved between CareFirst and the Delaware Blues in March 2000, and she issued an order dissolving the affiliation. CareFirst appealed Williams' order to the Delaware Superior Court, which in October upheld the commissioner's decision. CareFirst then appealed that decision to the state's Supreme Court, which again affirmed the commissioner's ruling. CareFirst, which also operates Blues plans in Maryland and the District of Columbia, is considering whether to launch another appeal, officials said. -- by Laura B. Benko
Court ruling upholds CareFirst, Del. Blues breakup
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