The Department of Justice has filed a civil anti-trust lawsuit against BlueCross/Blue Shield of Michigan alleging that the Most Favored Nations’ Clause (MFN) in their hospital contracts prevent other insurers from entering the market place and discourage discounts, resulting in higher prices for Michigan health care consumers. The state of Michigan has joined the lawsuit. MFNs generally refer to contractual clauses between health insurance plans and health care providers in its attempt to guarantee that no other plan can obtain a better rate.

The issue is featured in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times today.