October 14, 2010 |
Los Angeles city prosecutors Wednesday accused the parent company of insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross of California of falsely stating that it had changed its procedures for canceling the policies of patients after they become sick. The Los Angeles city attorney's office said that WellPoint Inc. misled the public earlier this year when it denied reports that it targeted women with breast cancer for cancellation. The prosecutors' action is the latest chapter in the city attorney's ongoing case against WellPoint.
March 2, 2010 |
A consumer group sued Anthem Blue Cross on Monday, accusing California's largest for-profit health insurer of violating state law by closing certain policies to new members while illegally offering remaining customers alternative plans with fewer benefits at higher rates. Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog says in its lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, that Anthem closes "blocks of health insurance business" without offering comparable options. It did this last fall, just months before it informed policyholders who stayed put that their rates would rise as much as 39%, the suit says.
November 15, 2011 |
For the second time in eight months, California health insurer Anthem Blue Cross is being sued over allegations that it has breached contracts with individual policyholders for hiking annual insurance deductibles in the middle of the year. The latest lawsuit, filed Monday by the group Consumer Watchdog, says that California's largest for-profit health insurance company used "bait and switch" tactics to raise deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs for some customers May 1. Anthem, the consumer group contends, violated state law by misrepresenting the cost of its coverage for more than 100,000 customers.
February 10, 2010 |
Congress opened an investigation Tuesday into Anthem Blue Cross' impending rate increases in California as President Obama cited the premium hikes -- some as high as 39% -- in his bid to pass national healthcare legislation. The House Committee on Energy and Commerce and its Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations announced they were examining the increases, which are set to take effect March 1. The subcommittee has scheduled a Feb. 24 hearing in Washington, while an Assembly committee in Sacramento has set a hearing for Feb 23. "Reports of premium increases up to 39% are deeply troubling," Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills)
June 21, 2011 |
Settling a class-action lawsuit, California health insurer Anthem Blue Cross has agreed to limit rate increases for 122,000 policyholders whose plans have been closed to new customers. Affected policyholders for the first time would also be able to switch plans without having their medical histories reviewed. Consumer groups had accused the state's largest for-profit health insurer of closing some insurance plans to new members and then forcing existing customers into a financial "death spiral" by dramatically raising rates without offering comparable options as required by state law. Anthem policyholders and healthcare advocates said the practice often trapped older customers or those with preexisting health conditions in policies they could not afford but also could not leave.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 23, 2010 |
Insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross refused to pay for a California produce merchant to get a liver transplant in Indiana because the company wanted to save money, a lawyer for the patient told jurors Monday. But a lawyer for the state's largest for-profit insurer argued that the patient, Ephram Nehme, was not sick enough to qualify for an exception to his policy's requirement that transplants be performed in Blue Cross-contracted hospitals in California. The high-profile trial is expected to shed light on how Anthem Blue Cross, which covers about 8 million Californians, decides what medical care to cover -- and what to deny.
June 7, 2011 |
Most businesses are eager to have people pay their monthly bills with automatic credit card payments. There's a good reason: Businesses know they will get paid on a regular basis. So why is health insurance heavyweight Anthem Blue Cross telling members it will no longer allow them to do this — at least not without a hefty fee? Tom Harris of West Los Angeles has been insured by Anthem for about 40 years. He's paid his bills automatically from his credit card account for as long as he can remember.
November 17, 2010 |
California's largest for-profit health insurer has agreed to pay a total of $1.62 million to seven hospitals to settle allegations that it failed to properly reimburse the providers for patient care. Anthem Blue Cross of California underpaid hospitals for charges that exceeded contracted daily rates, the California Department of Managed Health Care said in its agreement with the insurer. Anthem, a unit of health insurance giant WellPoint Inc. of Indianapolis, admitted no wrongdoing and said in a statement that it settled the matter to avoid litigation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 15, 2010 |
A Los Angeles jury concluded Monday that Anthem Blue Cross should cover the cost of an out-of-state liver transplant that a California man paid for after the insurer balked. In addition, the jury ordered Blue Cross to pay plaintiff Ephram Nehme's legal expenses, which could dwarf the $206,000 cost of the transplant. Blue Cross approved Nehme's liver transplant in late 2006, and he was on the waiting list at UCLA Medical Center. But the company refused to pay when Nehme, gravely ill and fearing for his life, decided to have the operation in Indiana, where wait times are far shorter than in California.
August 26, 2010 |
California insurance regulators cleared the way Wednesday for Anthem Blue Cross to implement scaled-back rate hikes after a previous increase was canceled amid an uproar over its size. Anthem said it intends to put the new rates — averaging 14% and as high as 20% — into effect Oct. 1 for nearly 800,000 individual California policyholders. Regulators also allowed one of Anthem's nonprofit competitors, Blue Shield of California, to move ahead with rate increases — averaging 19% and as high as 29% — for 250,000 individual policyholders.