Insurer fined for dropping members

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 9, 2007

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Blue Cross of California was fined $1 million for rescinding individual health insurance policies in violation of state law, according to the California Dept. of Managed Health Care.

The department conducted a survey of randomly selected individual health insurance policies that were cancelled by Blue Cross of California, a division of Indianapolis-based WellPoint, from 2004 to 2006. The survey results, released March 22, revealed two instances in which the health plan violated state law.

According to the survey, there was no evidence that the insurer conducted a complete pre-enrollment investigation of the applicant's medical history or used its own policies before issuing coverage in 39 of 90 cases reviewed. In the second instance the Dept. said Blue Cross violated state law in all 90 cases reviewed when the insurer did not prove the applicant willfully misrepresented his or her medical history before the coverage was dropped.

Blue Cross said it denies the department's charges and would contest the fine.

This isn't the first time that the plan has been fined over rescissions. In September 2006, it was fined $200,000 for rescinding the policy of one its members in violation of state law, according to the managed care department. Blue Cross denied that charge, and is contesting that fine as well.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn