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In three appeals consolidated for purposes of rendering this opinion, Pennsylvania Blue Shield [hereinafter "PBS"], Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania [hereinafter "BCWP"] and the United States of America [hereinafter "the United States"] challenge orders entered by the Circuit Court of Kanawha County in liquidation proceedings involving Blue Cross Blue Shield of West Virginia [hereinafter "BCBSWV"]. PBS and BCWP raise various issues, however, each complain that it did not receive adequate notice of the recommended decision of the court-appointed Referee regarding its respective claim, which decisions were adopted by the circuit court without a hearing. We find this issue is dispositive of the appeals of these two companies. Based upon our Conclusion that the lower court failed to follow the mandatory directives of W. Va. Code § 33-24-25 (1990) (Repl. Vol. 1996), we remand these two cases for additional proceedings consistent with that governing statute. In the third appeal herein consolidated, the United States first argues that the Receiver improperly applied state law and classified its late-filed proofs of claim in Class VII for purposes of distributing the BCBSWV liquidated estate. We find that the West Virginia priority scheme for late-filed claims, as expressed in W. Va. Code §§ 33-24-27(g) (1996) (Supp. 1998) and 33-24-37(b) (1990) (Repl. Vol. 1996), does not exceed state power, and furthermore, under the McCarran-Ferguson Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1011 et seq., W. Va. Code § 33-24-27 reverse preempts the federal priority statute asserted by the United States. Therefore, the classification assigned by the Receiver to the late-filed claims of the United States, which was subsequently adopted by the circuit court, was correct. Finally, the United States contends that the circuit court erred in finding that BCBSWV was not party to a contract entered between the Office of Personnel Management and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. On the contrary, we find that the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association acted as an agent for BCBSWV when it entered the contract. Therefore, the order appealed by the United States is affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings.

GENRE
Professional & Technical
RELEASED
1998
December 4
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
69
Pages
PUBLISHER
LawApp Publishers
SELLER
Innodata Book Distribution Services Inc
SIZE
106.9
KB

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