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California Insurance Lawsuits Filed against Anthem Blue Cross

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Los Angeles, CA: California insurance lawsuits have been filed against Anthem Blue Cross, alleging policyholders were misled into canceling their insurance coverage. The lawsuit was filed after two plaintiffs were allegedly pressured into giving up insurance policies that should have been grandfathered in under new health care laws, and alleges violations under California insurance law.

California Insurance Lawsuits Filed against Anthem Blue CrossAccording to the Los Angeles Times (11/4/13), approximately 900,000 people in California received notification that their health policies would be canceled. But lawsuits filed by Paul Simon and Catherine Coker allege that Anthem Blue Cross engaged in twisting, a violation of California insurance law. “Twisting” refers to the practice of convincing policyholders to give up their grandfathered plans.

The lawsuits, as noted by Courthouse News Service (11/6/13), allege Blue Cross convinced thousands of policyholders to leave their grandfathered health plans. Those health plans would have protected policyholders if the plans were purchased before March 23, 2010, and met the Affordable Care Act minimum requirements for coverage. Blue Cross allegedly did not inform policyholders of the risks associated with leaving a grandfathered plan. With the protection of a grandfathered plan, policyholders could continue with their coverage. Without a grandfathered plan, policyholders would have to purchase a new plan to replace their coverage, including potentially having a more limited provider network and leaving their current medical care providers.

Meanwhile, Blue Shield of California Life and Health Insurance Co. agreed to give policyholders until March 2014 before canceling their coverage. According to a press release from California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, individual policyholders could have had their policies canceled as of December 31. The insurance commissioner reportedly told Blue Shield that the company did not give policyholders enough notification of pending cancellation and threatened a lawsuit if more time was not given for policyholders to choose new policies.

“Allowing consumers to stay in their existing plans longer is the right thing to do for policyholders,” said Jones. “State and federal law allow Californians to keep their current policies beyond December 31. The existing policies are likely to have a broader network of medical providers, and for those who are not eligible for premium subsidies, a lower cost than what is available in 2014.”

Lawsuits have also been filed against insurers who unreasonably denied policyholders’ insurance claims.

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READER COMMENTS

Posted by
morris abrams
on
2 things happen , I was forced into dropping my insurance with BC and going with Obama care I pick blue shield only because last NOV all my doctors were on their list. It turns out no only are none of my doctor excepting this insurance but in the valley I live only 12 do and I have to drive 60 to 100 miles for specialist.

Posted by
Bill
on
Anthem Blue Cross just sent me a "Certificate of Credible Coverage" with a "Cancel Date" of 03/07/14. Less than two weeks ago they told me over the phone that I was still covered. I've had a policy with them since the mid 1980's. Are any Class Action suits currently pending ? I consider this to be notice of cancellation received 04/05/14.

Posted by
Jann Segal
on
Anthem has changed the new policy I purchased several times now. Same policy name and code, same premium, I have ail and documentation stating what the coverage should be. The coverage has now changed. First 20%, now 50%. All this for a 2014 plan since I signed up for it in October! I do not know what to do. The folks @ BC are just reading off a script. None of my medications are covered any more either. Others will be impacted s well.

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