Elevance Health has inked a deal to acquire Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, with the Pelican State insurer joining the Anthem Blue Cross affiliated plans.

The acquisition builds on an existing partnership between the two insurers, according to the announcement. The two jointly own Healthy Blue, a plan that serves Medicaid and dual-eligible beneficiaries.

The combination will also allow BCBSLA to accelerate its push toward improved access, affordability and quality for its 1.9 million members, thanks to the capabilities of Elevance Health’s Carelon subsidiary, the companies said. More than $4 billion has been invested in Carelon over the past several years, building out its behavioral health, complex and chronic care programs and digital health models.

“Elevance Health and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana will combine strengths to provide services unique to the needs of Louisiana to better serve members through a whole health personalized approach,” said Gail Boudreaux, CEO of Elevance Health, in a relase. “As organizations aligned in our missions, we are excited at the opportunity to bring our leading, innovative whole-health solutions to BCBSLA’s members as we work together to become a lifetime, trusted health partner.”

When the deal closes, BCBSLA’s headquarters will stay in Baton Rouge, according to the announcement, and the companies will create a multibillion-dollar foundation, the Accelerate Louisiana Initiative, that aims to address the unique health needs of people in the state.

The two insurers expect the acquisition to close later this year, pending regulatory approvals.

“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a strong and vibrant company with a history of serving Louisianians for almost 90 years. However, to remain strong in today’s environment with an ability to provide leading innovations, products and capabilities, we concluded that we needed a partner that could help us deliver these faster and better than we could alone,” BCBSLA CEO I. Steven Udvarhelyi, M.D., said in the release.

Read full article