Consumer Watchdog sues Blue Shield for forcing those with preexisting conditions into bare bones coverage

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Photo by Allan Foster via Flickr Creative Commons

Consumer Watchdog has filed a lawsuit against Blue Shield of California for allegedly forcing those with pre-existing medical conditions into bare bones coverage.

Consumer Watchdog announced Wednesday that it’s filed a class action lawsuit against Blue Shield of California for allegedly forcing those with preexisting medical conditions into bare bones coverage.

Consumer Watchdog accuses the Blue Shield of California health plan of embracing an insurance industry practice intended to push sicker customers into policies that provide less coverage and higher out-of-pocket costs.

Their class action lawsuit alleges that Blue Shield violates California law by routinely closing more desirable health plans to new customers and then forcing out existing policyholders by sharply increasing their premiums. The lawsuit says that forced customers with preexisting conditions to either pay the much higher premiums or to move into a high-deductible plan with fewer benefits.

A Blue Shield spokesman says the lawsuit allegations are false and says the company has always complied with state law.

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