Naseem S. Miller / Orlando Sentinel
Oscar Health, the new player in Florida’s ACA marketplace, has filed a federal lawsuit against Florida Blue, alleging that the insurer is using improper tactics to stifle competition in the state and monopolize the individual plan market.
In an antitrust lawsuit filed on Tuesday morning in the federal court’s Middle District of Florida, Oscar alleges that Florida Blue, the largest provider of ACA plans in Florida, has launched a “targeted campaign” to prevent Oscar from entering Orlando by “coercing” brokers into “anticompetitive exclusive agreements” and preventing them from selling Oscar’s plans.
More than 190 brokers have backed out of agreements to sell Oscar’s individual plans, resulting in loss of sales for Oscar, it said.
“When we go to a new city, one of the first things we do is to introduce ourselves to local brokers,” said Bruce Gottlieb, general counsel and executive vice president of strategic partnerships at Oscar. “In every city we’ve gone to, we’ve been able to sign up most of the largest brokers in the city. … Except for Orlando. Florida Blue is preventing brokers telling clients about the lowest-priced plans in the region.”