Court OKs Anthem sales of stripped down health plans in California

A California circuit judge denied plaintiffs' request for an injunction that would have stopped Anthem Blue Cross from switching 500,000 Californians to health plans that offered no out-of-network benefits, reports Los Angeles Times.

Consumer Watchdog filed suit against Anthem Blue Cross Nov. 1 and asked the judge for a restraining order after the insurer told customers it would automatically switch them to plans without out-of-network coverage if consumers did not select a new insurer by Dec. 15.

According to the complaint, Consumer Watchdog argued Anthem Blue Cross broke the law by not clearly informing customers it was terminating their preferred provider organization plan.

Judge John Shepard Wiley Jr. denied Consumer Watchdog's request for an injunction because he said plaintiffs had not suffered any losses on the policies that begin Jan. 1.

"Anthem Blue Cross is pleased with court's decision and based on the facts in the case, we believe the decision is appropriate," Anthem Blue Cross spokesperson Darrel Ng said in a statement.


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