Anthem Blue Cross of Calif. sued by former members

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted April 19, 2010

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

WellPoint's California subsidiary is facing a putative class-action lawsuit alleging that the company illegally pushed members out of less-profitable blocks of business.

The plaintiffs claim that Anthem Blue Cross of California was using a "death spiral" strategy to shut down certain lines of business, raising rates until members were forced to switch to less generous coverage that was more profitable for Anthem.

Under state law, insurers who want to stop offering one type of plan must offer current enrollees coverage with comparable benefits and terms, and without underwriting that would exclude members with preexisting medical conditions.

The two former Anthem members named as plaintiffs filed the lawsuit March 1 with the help of Santa Monica, Calif.-based Consumer Watchdog. They claim that the company violated state law by pushing them in to new policies with poorer benefits and higher out-of-pocket costs.

Anthem spokeswoman Kristin Binns said the company, as of this article's deadline, was still working on a statement regarding the case.

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