Wednesday, December 27, 2006
The California Medical Association is trying to join patients in a class-action lawsuit against Blue Cross. The suit accuses Blue Cross of illegally canceling patients’ coverage after approving costly medical treatment. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.
The class-action suit claims Blue Cross routinely dumps patients who file medical claims over a certain dollar amount. The California Medical Association wants to join the suit, because it says doctors are often left holding the bag. California hospitals have made a similar argument.
Blue Cross says it has the right to cancel policies if members provide incorrect information on their application. The company maintains it can do so even if a patient made an honest mistake. Even so, Blue Cross says it terminates only a small fraction of all policies.
But consumer groups claim Blue Cross is flaunting the law. Earlier this year, state regulators fined Blue Cross 200-thousand dollars for illegally canceling a woman’s policy.Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.