NU Online News Service, Feb. 19, 8:05 p.m. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Topeka, Kan., and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, a unit of Anthem Inc., Indianapolis, say they will go to court to fight Kansas insurance regulators’ decision to reject Anthem’s plan for acquiring Kansas Blue.

Anthem has agreed to pay customers of the policyholder-owned mutual insurer $321 million to compensate them for their loss of policy-based ownership rights.

Kansas regulators say the proposed deal would reduce competition and lead to higher prices, but Kansas Blue and Anthem say the deal would help Kansas residents by giving Kansas Blue a strong parent company that would respect the need for local autonomy.

Kansas Blue and Anthem also cite testimony by Kansas officials suggesting that existing Anthem plans usually charge rates “consistent with general market levels.”