Crazy as it sounds an Associated Press story from Thursday reported that the California Department of Managed Care "didn’t even try to enforce a million-dollar fine against health insurer Anthem Blue Cross because they feared they would be outgunned in court."
Last year, the department announced that it would fine the insurer for improperly rescinding individual heath insurance policies in the midst of the California rescission controversy. Since then, most insurers have announced policy changes in the way they rescind coverage.
From the AP story:
The department’s director, Cindy Ehnes, told The Associated Press on
Thursday that the agency has had success in forcing smaller insurers to
reinstate illegally canceled policies and pay fines, but Blue Cross is
too powerful to take on.
"In each and every one of those rescissions, (Blue Cross has) the right
to contest each, and that could tie us up in court forever," Ehnes said
of the approximately 1,770 Blue Cross rescissions between Jan. 1, 2004,
It’s not like this issue hasn’t already been decided in favor of
consumers. Last December, a California appeals court decided that
California insurers can’t cancel a health policy unless the applicant
"willfully" misrepresented their health status.
If California can’t protect consumers, who can?