California fines two health plans $13 million
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield have agreed to pay a total of $13 million in fines and to offer new health coverage to more than 2,200 Californians the companies dropped after they became ill. Neither company admitted to any wrongdoing in agreeing to pay the fines, the latest in the efforts by state authorities to curb what they view as an abusive practice of investigating and canceling policies after policyholders run up big medical bills. The insurers also agreed to establish a process for former members to recover medical expenses they paid out of pocket after they were dropped, as well as other damages.
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