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Blue Cross Agrees to Settle Lawsuits

Audio

Aired 4/19/09

Blue Cross of California has decided to settle more than 70 lawsuits filed by patients who charged the company with illegally terminating their policy. Similar cases are still pending against other health insurance companies. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

The lawsuits had accused Blue Cross of canceling coverage after patients filed claims for treatment. Lawyers for the plaintiffs say the settlement amounts are confidential, but their clients’ medical bills will be paid.

Brian Liang directs the Institute of Health Law Studies at California Western School of Law.

Liang: The bad news is now we’ve just basically written off any opportunity at this point, to get some binding legal precedent to allow people in the future to be protected against these kinds of aggressive business activities by Blue Cross, as well as other insurers.”

At least five other insurance companies are facing lawsuits over their cancellation policies. State regulators have launched their own investigation into the practice. Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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