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Blue Cross North Carolina, Cambia formally end merger bid

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and Cambia Health Solutions Inc. have formally ended their plan for a merger.

The companies' boards "jointly agreed to end their pursuit of an affiliation by mutually terminating their affiliation contract." They had already withdrawn their regulatory approval request for the deal.

The transaction was put on hold following a traffic accident involving former Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina CEO Patrick Conway. He was found guilty of driving while impaired and misdemeanor child abuse following a car crash on an interstate while his children were in the back seat.

Conway resigned at the request of the company's board in late September. North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey urged Conway to resign after the insurer allegedly covered up the top executive's arrest.

The two companies will continue to make "strategically aligned investments" as co-owners of Echo Health Ventures.