FTC clears bid for Carefirst HMO

THE BALTIMORE EVENING SUN

The Federal Trade Commission today gave a green light regarding antitrust concerns to the bid by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland to buy CareFirst Inc.

CareFirst, a health maintenance organization that has 118,000 members, was taken over by the state Insurance Division on Feb. 21 after the agency found the HMO had a negative net worth of $8.9 million. Blue Cross made its bid a week later.

A hearing is set tomorrow in Baltimore Circuit Court to review the takeover and the proposed merger.

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