Blue Cross scraps plan to buy Lansing-based HMO

LANSING, MI – A unit of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has dropped plans to buy the membership of a Lansing-based health maintenance organizations after the U.S. Justice Department came out against the deal.

Blue Care Network announced September 15 it planned to buy the membership of Physicians Health Plan of Mid-Michigan. Sparrow Health System owns the Lansing-based HMO, which has about 80,000 members. Southfield-based Blue Care Network has about 680,000 members.

The 2 companies announced Monday they were dropping the plan.

The Justice Department says the deal would have given Blue Cross too big a share of the Lansing-area health insurance market. Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox says he also planned to try to block the deal.