Anthem Blue Cross agrees to $1M fine

Anthem Blue Cross has agreed to pay a $1 million fine to the California Department of Insurance and offer new coverage to 2,330 people it dropped after they began submitting costly medical claims. It also agreed to repay the out-of-pocket expenses incurred by those beneficiaries after it dropped them, which may reach as much as $14 million.

In return for these actions, the Department will drop charges that Anthem broke state laws in the way it rescinded policies held by members in its PPO between 2004 and 2008.

The Department of Insurance settlement is actually the second blow to Anthem. Last year it agreed to pay the state's Department of Managed Healthcare a $10 million fine on related charges involving 1,770 members with HMO-type policies.

More trouble could be on the way, meanwhile. Anthem, along with Blue Shield of California and Health Net, is still facing individual and class-action suits alleging that it illegally dropped patients when they were sick to avoid paying their bills.

To learn more about Anthem's fortunes:
- read this Los Angeles Times piece

Related Articles:
Los Angeles sues Anthem for individual policy cancellations
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Blue Cross of CA settles plan-cancellation suits