July 18, 2008 |
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield -- two of the state's biggest health plans -- agreed Thursday to pay a total of $13 million in fines and to offer new health coverage to more than 2,200 Californians the companies dropped after they became ill. Neither company admitted to any wrongdoing in agreeing to pay the stiffest penalties yet in efforts by state authorities to curb what they view as an abusive practice of investigating and canceling policies after policyholders run up big medical bills.
February 12, 2008 |
The state's largest for-profit health insurer is asking California physicians to look for conditions it can use to cancel their new patients' medical coverage. Blue Cross of California is sending physicians copies of health insurance applications filled out by new patients, along with a letter advising them that the company has a right to drop members who fail to disclose "material medical history," including "pre-existing pregnancies."
December 30, 2007 |
At 13, David Denney's body functions like that of a baby. Severe brain damage halted his motor development at 4 months. Unable to walk, sit up, speak or even eat by mouth, David is cared for by a licensed vocational nurse who feeds him formula through a stomach tube, watching closely in case he retches. Blue Cross of California, the family's health plan, paid for the nurse for most of David's life at a cost of about $1,200 a week.
November 2, 2007 |
The state stepped into a bitter battle Thursday between Blue Cross of California and the doctors, hospitals and medical labs that serve about 700,000 people covered by the state's largest health plan. At issue is the contentious financial relationship between medical providers and Blue Cross, which the state's top HMO regulator warned might worsen the plight of California's struggling hospitals.
August 24, 2007 |
WellPoint Inc. unit Blue Cross of California beat out UnitedHealth Group Inc. and Aetna Inc. to win a three-year medical insurance contract with the California Public Employees' Retirement System. The California pension fund buys health coverage for more than 1.2 million state workers, retirees and their families. The subsidiary of Indianapolis-based WellPoint has had the CalPERS contract since 1999. CalPERS said it would spend $5.3 billion on health benefits next year, up from $4.
August 8, 2007 |
When an Indiana company bought Blue Cross of California in November 2003, it promised to maintain and improve the services and benefits of the state's largest health insurer. Nearly three years later, state regulators say they have been besieged by complaints that patients are paying more and doctors are about to be paid less. Regulators held an unusual public hearing Tuesday in downtown Los Angeles to find out why.