Anthem Blue Cross of California being sued by Consumer Watchdog Group

[Best Syndication News] Anthem Blue Cross recently raised health insurance policy premiums up to 39 percent on some individual health plans, which has caused government as well as others to take notice. The Consumer Watchdog organization has filed a lawsuit today against Anthem Blue Cross because of the rate hike and forcing policy holders into less coverage because of the excessive rate hike.

Anthem Blue Cross is a subsidiary of WellPoint Inc., which is the largest health insurance provider in the United States. The lawsuit filed today against the corporation is accusing them of increasing monthly rates, so much as to force consumers into lower-benefit coverage with higher-deductibles. The Consumer Watchdog group is saying that this is a violation of state law and the lawsuit is being filed by Blue Cross policyholders as well as consumer advocates.


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According to the Consumer Watchdog organization the violations made by Anthem Blue Cross is that they targeted individual insurance plans that they are closing down. The law in California says that health insurers who close a policy must offer consumers a new comparable coverage or minimize premium increases on the now-closed policies. The lawsuit is accusing the company of rate hikes that forced customers to move to health insurance plans that offered lower benefit coverage that often had higher deductibles along with less coverage.

Some of the customers that have spoken out on the rate hike from Anthem Blue Cross were released by the Consumer Watchdog.

“Blue Cross has a gun to our heads. My husband and I got a letter in the mail from Blue Cross telling us that they were closing our policy,” said Mary Feller of San Rafael, one of the plaintiffs representing the class action. “We could either stay with our old coverage or switch to a new policy with much lower benefits. What Blue Cross did not tell us was that staying with our better policy would mean a 39% rate increase.”

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“Not only did I get hit with a 33% premium increase, my only option was a policy with almost twice the deductible and far fewer benefits,” said Donna Freed, another plaintiff also representing the class action. “If Blue Cross is allowed to price longtime policyholders out of coverage, what is the value of having insurance.”

The Consumer Watchdog organization has forwarded the complaint to Washington D.C., with President Obama, Speaker Pelosi (D-CA), Representative Waxman (D-CA), Representative Stupak (D-MI), Representative Speier (D-CA), Representative Garamendi (D-CA), Senator Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Boxer (D-CA), and Senate Leader Reid (D-NV) being notified of the Anthem Blue Cross health insurance rate hikes and how they are stripping away benefits all while raising rates. You can follow the Consumer Watchdog at consumerwatchdog.org.

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