Judge temporarily blocks release of BlueCross, Cigna pricing information to state lawmaker

Insurers claim releasing price information will hurt market

Staff file photo / The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee campus in downtown Chattanooga is environmentally designed with glass windows that allow sunlight to warm the building, cutting down on heating costs. In the center of the building is a courtyard with tables and a fountain. Gardens and walking trails are also scattered throughout the campus.

NASHVILLE - Chattanooga-based BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and Cigna Health Insurance have filed federal lawsuits against Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee's administration to stop release of their pricing information required under a new law sponsored by a state lawmaker now seeking the information.

Acting on Monday, U.S. District Judge Eli Richardson of Nashville approved requests for a temporary restraining order.

Efforts to reach a BlueCross BlueShield spokesperson as well as Rep. Martin Daniel, a Knoxville Republican, who sponsored legislation requiring the information submitted to the Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration be made publicly available, were unsuccessful Monday.

The lawsuits, filed last week, and Richardson's temporary restraining order on Monday were first reported by the Nashville Post.

BlueCross said in its filing that releasing the information violates federal Sherman Act antitrust laws as well as the U.S.