Kaiser, Health Net agree to reinstate 1,200 beneficiaries

Two of California's largest health plans have agreed to reinstate a total of roughly 1,200 patients whose policies were rescinded after they began incurring high medical expenses.

Under the terms of a settlement brokered by the California Department of Managed Health Care, patients whose insurance was rescinded by Kaiser Permanente or Health Net since 2004 will be allowed to buy a new policy regardless of their medical condition. As part of the deal, Kaiser has agreed to pay a $300,000 fine to the state without admitting wrongdoing, as well as making procedural changes which include developing simpler coverage applications to avoid applicant mistakes. The deal follows a $9 million judgment against Health Net won by a hair salon owner when the plan canceled her coverage while she was undergoing chemotherapy.

The Department of Managed Health Care is now trying to reach similar deals with other major health plans, including Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield and PacifiCare, which involve about 4,000 canceled policies.

To learn about the health plans' new deal:
- read this Los Angeles Times article

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