Law360 (January 7, 2020, 5:56 PM EST) — The U.S. Department of Justice has thrown its weight behind Oscar Insurance Co.’s request to the Eleventh Circuit to revive its case targeting Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida’s rules that bar agents from selling insurance policies offered by other companies.
The DOJ on Monday filed an amicus brief supporting Oscar’s bid to overturn a district court ruling that found Florida Blue is immune from its antitrust claims because the exclusivity policy is covered by the federal McCarran-Ferguson Act, which exempts some insurance industry activity from antitrust scrutiny.
The agency argued in its brief that exemptions from the antitrust laws are supposed to be narrow and said the lower court’s ruling goes too far.
“The district court’s sweeping interpretation of the McCarran-Ferguson exemption disregards Supreme Court precedent and would deny Floridians purchasing health insurance the protections of federal antitrust law,” the brief said. “We urge the court to reverse the district court.”