Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana to acquire majority stake in Vantage Holdings

BATON ROUGE – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Vantage Holdings, Inc., the parent company of Vantage Health Plan and its subsidiaries (Vantage), have signed definitive agreements under which Blue Cross will acquire majority ownership of Vantage following approvals from state and federal regulators, and formal approval by Vantage shareholders.

“The alliance of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Vantage is strategically important to both companies and will strengthen both organizations’ ability to improve the health of all Louisianians through increased access to affordable care, improved quality and an exceptional consumer experience,” said Dr. Steven I. Udvarhelyi, Blue Cross President and CEO.

“We believe this transaction will allow both companies to strategically grow more effectively, and for Vantage to expand in more markets outside of Louisiana,” said Dr. Gary Jones, Vantage CEO. “And over time, we hope to be able to add more jobs in Monroe, where Vantage will continue to be headquartered.”

Blue Cross and Vantage have deep roots in Louisiana, and are committed to the state and the communities they serve. For example, both companies have shown continued commitment to the individual market and have remained on the Health Insurance Exchange while all out-of-state carriers have left this important segment. And for the first time, both companies are seeing an average rate decrease for Exchange products in 2019, which will benefit consumers. In addition, Blue Cross and Vantage both serve employers and Medicare Advantage members.

The complementary strengths of both organizations, as well as our shared focus on the health of all Louisianians, will further give both companies the ability to innovate and impact cost and quality of care, as well as remain competitive with larger, out-of-state organizations.

Following the transaction close, Vantage will continue to be run as a separate company by the existing management team, and Blue Cross and Vantage will retain their own corporate and product brands. Vantage CEO Dr. Gary Jones will continue to report to the Vantage Board of Directors, which will be comprised of a majority of Blue Cross representatives.

Pending regulatory and shareholder approvals, the transaction is expected to close by the end of the year.