It appears that people in California are a tad upset about the rate increase on their health insurance. But instead of taking it lying down, they’re taking action.
A consumer group filed a lawsuit Monday against Anthem Blue Cross, accusing the insurer of raising rates to force members into policies with higher deductibles and lower benefits.
Consumer Watchdog accuses Anthem of violating state law by failing to offer policyholders comparable coverage and minimize rate hikes after the company directs customers to alternative plans when closing out existing plans.
San Rafael resident Mary McNamara Feller, a plaintiff in the suit, which was filed in Ventura County, said she had to do something after Anthem last month proposed raising rates on the policy covering her and her husband nearly 39 percent to $1,658 a month.
She said the company offered her the option of switching to a policy with a higher deductible and skimpier benefits by a specific deadline, but also told her she could stay in her current policy. The company notified her of the enormous premium increases in her plan after the deadline had passed.
“It just seems like there’s no end in sight,” said Feller, 56, adding that she experienced a similar increase last year. “The way Blue Cross handles this is by forcing plan members into plans that increasingly put people at risk financially. … It’s no longer just about us. It’s about 800,000 people who don’t have any recourse.”