California consumer group sues Anthem over alleged ‘bait and switch’

Calling it a classic “bait and switch,” a California consumer group on Tuesday lashed out at Anthem Blue Cross of California, claiming it failed to adequately warn customers they were being shifted in 2017 to brand-new, stripped-down plans.

Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog announced it has filed a class action lawsuit against the health insurance giant after Anthem moved hundreds of thousands of its Preferred Provider Organization customers to Exclusive Provider Organization plans for 2017 — all the while calling the new plans “similar coverage.”

PPO plans cover a portion of out-of-network costs, while EPO plans cover none of them.

The change is significant, according to the advocacy group, and may not immediately be evident to consumers as they review their re-enrollment notices.

As a result, the nonprofit group alleges, Anthem customers could potentially face thousands of dollars or more in medical bills next year than their existing plans covered.

Read the full story at the San Jose Mercury News: Consumer group sues Anthem over “bait and switch” tactics for 2017 health plans

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