The Los Angeles city attorney has filed a motion against WellPoint and its subsidiary, Anthem Blue Cross of California, accusing the health insurer of unlawfully offering former enrollees $1,000 to drop all legal claims against the company amid a pending class-action lawsuit.
The motion alleges that around Sept. 5, Anthem Blue Cross of California began sending out packets to about 1,770 former members who had been disenrolled from their individual policies in recent years. The notice advises the former members that they can get new coverage as part of a separate $10 million settlement reached in July between the insurer and the California Managed Health Care Department. But the city attorneys office alleges that the packet also includes an offer of a $1,000 no questions asked payment in return for a release of all legal claims, according to the city attorneys office.
Peggy Hinz, spokeswoman for Anthem Blue Cross of California, said that the insurer is not contacting former members, and that the companys legal team is still reviewing the motion.
In April, City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo filed a $1 billion lawsuit against WellPoint and Anthem Blue Cross of California, saying it revoked about 6,000 individual policies after members filed medical claims, a practice known as rescission. A hearing regarding the motion is set for Nov. 4 in Los Angeles Superior Court. -- by Rebecca Vesely