Somebody’s Mad and They’re Not Going to Take it Any Longer

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.”

The rest of the story…


Filed under Healthcare

2 responses to “Somebody’s Mad and They’re Not Going to Take it Any Longer

  1. fnord

    Hooray! That’s the kind of action I can fully support. Our premiums, co-pays and deductibles have gone up so high that we can’t afford to go to the doctor. 😦

  2. indypendent

    The last time I went to the doctor’s office, the waiting room was full. As I was sitting near the check-in desk, I could hear most everything that was being said.

    The majority of these waiting patients were Medicare (that I could easily guess from their ages). Then next came the Medicaid patients (these were usually parents with little kids, but there were some adults).

    I just received my bill from that visit and I was being charged the entire amount because my insurance coverage had not been billed yet (even though I provided my card and they photocopied it). When I called about it, they said they forgot to do that. I wonder if they really forgot or they were hoping I would just go ahead and pay it thinking that was my portion of the insurance?

    In fact, the girl suggested I just go ahead and pay the the amount owed and then when insurance paid, they would either credit me or give me a refund.

    I told her that I would rather go by the rules of the insurance company and since I had already paid my co-pay, they had to submit the bill and wait for the insurance payment. I also reminded her that it was not my fault they ‘forgot’ to bill my insurance.

    I also reminded her that whatever the insurance writes-off due to their contracted prices – I am not responsible for.

    By the time I got off the phone, this girl was not happy with me. Do you think it was because I knew too much of how the game is played?