Abandoning Policyholders - WellPoint - 6th Worst Insurance Company

Investigations have proven that WellPoint consistently cancels policies of pregnant women and chronically ill patients, confirming their cut throat strategy of putting the welfare of the company over that of their policyholders, earning it the number six spot in the Top 10 Worst Insurance Companies in America (according to the American Association for Justice).

Headquarters: Indianapolis, IN

Profits: $3.2 billion

Assets: $51.6 billion

  • Indianapolis-based Anthem and Thousand Oaks, and California-based WellPoint completed a $20.8 billion dollar merger in 2004 that was widely criticized by consumers, doctors, pension managers, and state regulators who feared that the merger would create a monopoly that would both raise premiums and reduce claim payments to cover the cost of the massive severance packages for the executives who initiated the merger.
  • The terms of the merger included a payout of $250 million to a dozen executives, giving the former WellPoint CEO almost $82 million with additional pension and stock options.
  • Sued for illegal rescission, or routinely canceling individual health policies of pregnant women and chronically ill patients.
  • Sued by Insurance Commissioner for improper rescissions, failure to pay claims on a timely basis, failure to provide required information when denying a claim, failure to pay interest on claims where required, and mishandling of member appeals.
  • Los Angeles City Attorney sued Anthem Blue Cross for fraud, violation of state and federal insurance regulations, and violation of truth-in-advertising laws. He stated that they also jeopardized the health of more than 6,000 customers by retroactively canceling their health insurance and tricked more than 500,000 consumers into purchasing healthcare coverage based on false promises.
  • WellPoint has had to pay over $30 million to settle lawsuits in Colorado, Kentucky, and Nevada for overcharging policyholders.
  • Was one of the insurance companies sued by over 800,000 doctors who claimed that they were not paid the full amount for their care and services.
  • Wanted California doctors to violate doctor-patient confidentiality by reporting pre-existing conditions that patients might have so that they will be able to use that against policyholders when refusing claims.
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