Request Legal Help Now - Free


Health Insurance Companies Illegally Deny Treatments and Services

Medicine and healthcare has evolved: treatments and services available today were non-existent a few decades ago. But health insurance has also evolved, often to our detriment. Increasingly, bad faith insurance lawsuits are filed against Health Insurers denying medical claims. Insurers such as Anthem & Blue Cross/Blue Shield require increasingly high co-pays, while they deny valid claims because the treatment is “experimental” or “investigational” or “not medically necessary”. If your health insurance company refuses to cover your treatment, you may want to seek legal help.


Send your Bad Faith Health Insurance claim to a lawyer who will review your claim at NO COST or obligation.
Read your health care policy, including the fine print. The health insurance company may have exclusions for certain treatments and/or services, even though approved by the FDA or recommended by your doctor. The insurer may say there is insufficient proof demonstrating that certain treatments are safe and effective for their intended use, making them investigational or experimental and not a covered medical benefit. Whether a particular treatment is investigational or experimental will depend on how it is defined in the health plan contract. Health Insurers often deny claims without thoroughly vetting the science behind the treatment.

Reasons for Denial

The most common reasons a health insurer denies your claim is because the treatment is considered experimental, the treatment is not medically necessary, or the treatment has not been proven to be more effective than other treatments allowed by the insurer. Your insurer must provide reasons for denying your claim or not paying your medical bill. It must also include the doctor they used and its guidelines or basis for the denial.

Insurers Practicing Bad Faith Tactics and Implementing Denials

United Health Care California - United HealthCare Insurance Company uses an exclusion in its medical policies for treatments it considers “Experimental or Investigational or Unproven.” The investigational definition merely requires that the treatment have approval from an appropriate regulatory body such as the FDA. The Unproven definition, however, excludes treatments:
  • “that are determined not to be effective for treatment of the medical condition and/or not to have a beneficial effect on net health outcomes due to insufficient and inadequate clinical evidence from well-conducted randomized controlled trials or cohort studies in the prevailing published peer-reviewed medical literature.”

Anthem Blue Cross - Anthem, the second-largest insurance company in the country, excludes experimental and investigational treatments, which it defines as:
  • “any treatment, therapy, procedure, Drug or Drug usage for non-FDA approved indications, facility or facility usage, equipment or equipment usage, device or device usage, or supplies which are not recognized in accordance with generally accepted professional medical standards as being safe and effective for use in the treatment of an illness, injury, or condition at issue.”

Under this language, treatments that are FDA-approved and generally accepted in the medical profession as safe and effective should not be denied as investigational or experimental.

Common Denied Treatments/Services and Lawsuits

Hepatitis C: Because of its exorbitant price ($94,000 for treatment), many insurers decided to deny Sovaldi and Harvoni medication to patients to all but those in later stages of the disease. Lawsuits have been filed against insurers like Anthemand Blue Cross alleging the insurers breached their contractual duty to provide coverage for medically necessary treatment. They further allege breach of good faith and negligent infliction of emotional distress. Anthem Blue Cross Lawsuits filed in California also allege insurers deny treatment to increase profits, a violation of California law.

Attorneys believe that insurers have limited coverage for drugs like Harvoni based upon their profit concerns, regardless whether treatments have FDA approval and medical opinion regarding beneficial use, sometimes for millions of patients. Denials such as these are considered bad faith insurance.

Lipedema: A Blue Cross of California (Anthem Blue Cross) bad faith lawsuit was filed by Attorney Robert Gianelli in the Superior Court of Los Angeles on September 14th, 2018, alleging it wrongfully denied benefits to a woman with stage 3 lipedema. The insurer based its denial on the treatments being cosmetic, but Gianelli argues that Anthem Blue Cross determined there was no in-network provider with the expertise to properly treat the plaintiff. Plaintiff’s in-network doctor informed Anthem that she should see an out-of-network doctor to have the procedure done. Both doctors agreed on the diagnosis of stage 3 lipedema (where fat tissue accumulations beneath the skin protrude and can hinder mobility.) In the early stages, lipedema surgery is often done for cosmetic purposes, but the lawsuit claims this case meets the standard behind California’s reconstructive surgery law.

Artificial Disc Surgery: Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna and United HealthCare Insurance Company have refused to cover lumbar artificial disc surgery despite the fact that the surgery has been FDA approved since 2004 and is frequently performed by renowned surgeons at leading medical centers.

A class action lawsuit was filed against Blue Shield of California over its refusal to cover lumbar artificial disc surgery on the basis it was investigational. (Escalante v. California Physicians Service dba Blue Shield of California) . Blue Shield retracted its “investigational” denial basis and agreed to cover the surgery. The same law firm also won class certification in a case against UnitedHealth Care based upon its refusal to cover artificial disc surgery as “investigational.” (Hill v. UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, United States District Court for the Central District of California, Case No. SA CV 15-0526-DOC.)

Proton Beam Therapy for Prostate Cancer: Both United HealthCare Insurance Company and Blue Shield deny medical claims for proton beam therapy for the treatment of prostate cancer on the basis it is investigational. Proton beam therapy to treat prostate cancer is an established form of treatment that is widely accepted by physicians, government agencies and many insurers, including Medicare and Medicaid (which do not cover investigational or experimental treatments), and performed at leading medical centers.

Take Action if your Health Insurance Claim is Denied

If your treatment has been denied on the basis that it is “investigational” or “experimental”, ” “not medically necessary”, “no medical literature to show it is effective”, and other, similar reasons, it is crucial that you take action ASAP.

Often the insurance company has made the wrong decision. You always have the option to appeal the health insurer’s decision. As well, a denial can prolong needed treatment or surgery that can be life altering or even cause death.

For instance, Terry LaRue, a sports videographer, fell and fractured his hand. He was referred to an orthopedic surgeon to perform surgery the day after his injury but the surgeon would not accept his Health Net coverage. Over the next several weeks, LaRue, age 28, visited other orthopedic surgeons in the plan who each confirmed the immediate need for surgery, but could not provide the necessary treatment as they were not hand surgeons or contracted with the hospitals. After several weeks he finally had surgery, but due to the delay, LaRue suffered permanent impairment and could no longer work at his profession.

With legal help, LaRue filed a lawsuit against Accountable Health Care for failure to provide timely and necessary medical services. LaRue’s health plan, Health Net, contracted with Accountable to create a network of doctors under his Affordable Care Act plan. Accountable also agreed with Health Net to authorize referrals to specialists for Health Net members when they needed it. A jury awarded LaRue $7,225,000 based on Accountable’s negligence and violation of a law relating to managed care entities.

You have the right to appeal twice. After a second appeal and denial there can also be a peer –to- peer review and final denial. The claim denial letter from your insurer has a deadline for submitting an appeal. After filing, the insurer usually has 60 days to make a decision. If you’re denied, you can appeal one more time. At this point, and if you haven’t done so already, you may want to seek legal help.

Legal Help

If you or a loved one has suffered similar damages or injuries, please fill in our form and your complaint will be sent to a lawyer who may evaluate your claim at no cost or obligation.
Last updated on


United Healthcare Faces Class Action Lawsuit For 'Arbitrary' Therapy Payment Policy
United Healthcare Faces Class Action Lawsuit For 'Arbitrary' Therapy Payment Policy
November 12, 2018
Workers in the U.S. who received psychotherapy through their employers’ plans with United Healthcare Insurance Co. and United Behavioral Health (UBH) in California have filed a proposed class action, claiming the insurers have violated mental health laws READ MORE

Is a Health Plan Liable for the Negligence of an Unqualified Claims Reviewer?
Is a Health Plan Liable for the Negligence of an Unqualified Claims Reviewer?
October 23, 2018
Johnson v. UnitedHealthcare raises more questions than it answers about how ERISA protects health plan participants who bring bad faith insurance lawsuits over denied medical claims. Stephen Johnson had more than his share of hardship. The law hasn’t helped him. But it’s a complicated story that will affect claimants and health insurers denying medical claims in California and throughout the country. So hang on. READ MORE

Amputees Fighting for Insurance Coverage Get Tips from Blue Cross Antitrust Lawsuit
Amputees Fighting for Insurance Coverage Get Tips from Blue Cross Antitrust Lawsuit
September 20, 2018
As amputees fight for insurance coverage for advanced, microprocessor- assisted prostheses, it can help to look at other insurance lawsuits that describe a similar pattern of claims denials. READ MORE


Posted by

Nutrien, a subsidiary of Agrium, is self insured. They purchased my company UAP. When I became permanently disabled (in 2007), UAP gave me a letter saying they would continue all my insurance coverage (medical, vision, dental, life, supplemental life) until I’m 65 years old. Medicare says BCBS CO is my primary medical insurance. When I became disabled, I got Medicare part A. When I turned 62 (4/26/21), BCBS began denying my medical claims. BCBS LIED, TELLING MY PROVIDERS that Medicare was my primary insurance. Now BCBS says, if I want medical insurance, I must take Medicare part B and pay another premium to Medicare. Medicare says BCBS cannot force me to take Medicare Part B. Even though I pay my full premiums (for 27 years), BCBS is refusing to cover me fully. So now, I have to pay what Medicare would pay. Apparently, I am not the only disabled person being treated this way by Agrium and BCBS. Many of the doctors I see, don’t take Medicare. Can you help me?

Posted by

Humana Choice Florida (PPO) Medicare

Pradaxa 150 denied for over 2 years. I’ve

Posted by

Many of our opioid addicted patients are denied help for reimbursement for their methadone which is the only medication keeping them alive and healthy. What can we do to help them get their insurance to pay for their medication? Suboxone is much more expensive and does not come with counseling services like methadone, which is highly monitored does. All methadone treatment centers are specialty pharmacies which is the only place you can get methadone to treat addiction and all other medications to help with opioid addiction will not work for many people.

Posted by

Last nov my doctor order a CT. 5 weeks of canceled appts. My PPO from Healthnet that cost 1200. month denied, asking for more doctor notes. I got tired of waiting in pain, and paid for the test myself. They found an aortic aneurysm. My doc ordered the rest of my torso scan to make sure no others. This is day 5 of the same treatment, this time its the imagining asking for clarification. I suspect because my insurance is denying again. I can only guess they make it so hard to access care that you give up and die. Seriously frustrating. I do not know if its the doctors, imagining clinic, or the managing imaging peeps called NIA. Its a pack of rats if you ask me. Anyway,, other lawfirms ask me "what is your injury" really? Besides costing too much money, then having to jump thru hoops to access care, how about putting my life in danger? Had I not paid for the test I would not have known about the aneurysm. Most people would have given up.

Posted by

Bad faith billing practices.As part of the healthcare system.How have we tolerated changes in regulation that would allow a retitle of urgent care center to a hospital?Their Logic is to simply charge patients more for services,most criminal, defer expenses from the health insurance company to the patient. To explain this phenomenon. Urgent care centers charge patients A co-pay. Hospitals also charge a co-pay for emergency room services but it is much more expensive.If a patient needs urgent care rather than emergent care they’re expected to go to the urgent care center.More expensive than your family doctor however much less expensive than an emergency room.So here’s the inside deal for hospitals and the insurance industry. Hospitals turn urgent care centers into hospitals and are able to charge more money for services.The insurance industry now has the opportunity do you still make a deal on contracted services they pay to the hospital.However,they are now able to charge the patients enormous co-pays many times higher.How is the consumer to know it is a hospital?It’s not labeled hospital,no rooms.its a crime against society.

Posted by

Please confirm your receipt of this and your willingness to keep all our information confidential even if we do not pursue the matter together. Potential class action plaintiff. TX individual health policy, large national multiline co. Well documented repetitive pattern: institutionalized intentional dishonesty, bad faith claims-handling. Almost one year now, all the following and much more, multiple times: stating claim denied despite written approval, stating claim never received despite acknowledgement, stating claim lost, requiring claim be resubmitted, refusal to cite relevant policy language, refusal to provide copy of policy, etc. Eventually we file formal complaint with TX state insurance department. Carrier eventually then schedules “appeal board” but fails to invite or notify insured until too late, obvious fraud ruse reaffirms denial, again despite written approval. Many other blatant/obvious/routine violations of carrier’s own written guarantees. Next via local attorney we send demand letter noting violation of insurance and consumer statutes including TDTPA. This produces a “resolution specialist” supposedly from legal, so far consumed 60 days with same redundant requests. Claims-handling routinely deceptive, from multiple departments, it seems normal business practice. Amounts of money delayed/denied by a major carrier must be huge. Do you have interest in this sort of matter? Requirents of us as lead plaintiff other than our conclusive documentation? Benefits to us if you are successful?

Posted by

Anthem refused to my doctor bills including in 2014 I had Anthem ppo and I had a serious medical issue and the company refused to pay. In 2015, I went from a ppo to an hmo. This company would not allow doctors to treat me. I receive mu ERCP in in 2014 under the ppo. in 2015 I did not receive medical care even when I I was one of the victims of the "Super Bug with a UCLA doctor. I had severe bone pain and the doctor who was treated sent me an email canceling my appointment. Prior to that, I saw him one time and he told me I could not receive care and the only he could do was authorize my nausea. After that he sent me the email cancelling my appointment. All my medical care was "Do not treat patient. I went to an urgent care facility and they would not help me. The office personnel just pointed to the computer screen and shaking their head No. I offer to pay cash and they still would not see me. I went through hell and still going through. 2015 was so harmful to my health. The story
doesn't end there. In 2016 I went to an urgent care facility and I had to beg them to help me. They finally after 20 minutes of begging for help. The blood work. The results were dangerous and I could have died. In 2016, I had medicare and Medicaid and I saw doctor for my hip, bladder, and surgeries that were not paid.I needed to be treated for my hip and complications. neck surgery, and more. I can't get treatment because medicare

Posted by

My Aetna insurance denied a Yeast Infection lab test which is covered by my plan. As a result the test costs $750.00. The reason they gave is the doctor put the wrong diagnostic code when he provided the information to the laboratory. I have contacted the doctor's office many times, but it just falls in death ears.

The insurance makes me go through unending paperwork. There is no fault of my own, the insurance should communicate with the doctor to resolve the issue.

I feel like my insurance is just trying to discourage me to use it.

This is all very distressing and unhealthy


Please read our comment guidelines before posting.

Note: Your name will be published with your comment.

Your email will only be used if a response is needed.

Are you the defendant or a subject matter expert on this topic with an opposing viewpoint? We'd love to hear your comments here as well, or if you'd like to contact us for an interview please submit your details here.

Request Legal Help Now! - Free