Is Blue Shield Overcharging Your Health Insurance Premiums?
We want to hear from you!
Did your health insurance premiums increase more than they should have? Did your insurance company raise your rates without telling you first? Both of these actions are illegal under California law, but our law firm has recently become aware of several instances where Blue Shield has engaged in this misconduct. We believe Blue Shield’s actions may be affecting countless Californians, and we have filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of insurance customers who are being overcharged or having their rates raised without being given proper notice. If you think you might belong to this class of people, we want to hear from you. Learn more about our case below, and call our office at 866-256-2585 to discuss your situation.
Blue Shield overcharges and fails to provide timely notice of renewal premium amount
California law plainly states that “no change in the premium rate or coverage for an individual plan contract shall become effective unless the plan has provided written notice of the change at least 10 days prior to the start of the annual enrollment period applicable to the contract or 60 days prior to the effective date of the contract renewal, whichever occurs earlier in the calendar year.” Michael Bold, the lead plaintiff in our class action complaint, received a notice of a new premium amount for his family plan for the upcoming year which was more than 40% than he was currently paying. Knowing there must be some mistake, the Bolds immediately contacted Blue Shield and began the laborious process of trying to get this error straightened out, yet Blue Shield failed to provide an adequate complaint response system as required by California law.
Finally, about three days before the new premium was to take effect for the upcoming year, Blue Shield informed the Bolds of the correct new premium amount, which was about 16% higher than the current premium. The Bolds paid this corrected amount, and Blue Shield cashed that check yet then turned around and canceled the Bolds’ policy for not paying the higher, incorrect premium. The cancellation notice, by the way, came without the 30-day grace period required by California law.
Blue Shield claims nothing is wrong, but they are suing their billing management service for innumerable errors
In response to our lawsuit, Blue Shield alleges they don’t have any billing problems, but their own ongoing litigation proves otherwise. Blue Shield is currently suing a Florida corporation called HealthPlan Services for violating the “Business Process Outsourcing Agreement” they have with the company. Blue Shield outsourced their billing and account management to this company, and they are currently in litigation claiming the company repeatedly failed to perform services and is unable to maintain customer data that is consistently and reliably accurate. They accuse HealthPlan Services of failing to send out bills, sending out inaccurate bills, and overall incompetence.
HealthPlan Services, in turn, is countersuing Blue Shield. They allege that Blue Shield maintains a shadow billing process with duplicate billing information, despite warnings from HealthPlan Services that this action would cause problems. They claim Blue Shield gave them untimely and inaccurate records that led to invoicing errors.
This litigation is currently ongoing in federal court in the Northern District of California. If Blue Shield does not have any billing or account management problems, as they are telling us, why are they suing and being sued in federal court over this very issue?
Call Gianelli & Morris if You Believe Blue Shield of California is Overcharging Premiums on your Individual or Family Health Insurance Plan
If you have a story like the Bold family’s, we want to hear from you. We have filed a class action lawsuit against Blue Shield in Los Angeles County to cover all California subscribers of full-service Blue Shield individual/family health plans who received an untimely notice of an increased annual renewal premium in violation of the law and paid a new, higher premium over the prior year’s premium. We are seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction against Blue Shield, as well as restitution to consumers of the increased premium amounts they have been improperly charged. Call Gianelli & Morris at 866-256-2585 if you believe you may be a member of this class and should join this lawsuit. Your call is free, with no obligation, and is completely confidential.