Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania faces lawsuit for charitable donation

A class-action lawsuit accuses the insurer formerly known as Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania of "blatantly unlawful conduct" by donating $90 million to charity rather than distributing that surplus to its members, the Wilkes-Barre Citizens Voice reports. The insurer made the donation to AllOne Foundation and AllOneCharities before it merged with Highmark Inc., and the lawsuit, brought by Plains Township on behalf of policyholders, targets both Blue Cross and the charity. The plaintiffs argue that the money donated to charity actually "belongs to the people who paid the premiums," attorney Michael J. Cefalo told the newspaper. Other Blues plans have drawn criticism for maintaining a surplus, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama, and most notoriously, Blue Shield of California. Article