Canceled policies provoke lawsuit

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The fallout of actual and looming health insurance policy cancellations is clear in California, where two people are suing Anthem Blue Cross over the issue and Blue Shield of California agreed to delay cancellations for 130,000 customers until March 31.

About 900,000 Californians received cancellation notices for individual policies because their plans don't meet Affordable Care Act requirements, the Los Angeles Times noted. And 1 million individual and family plan enrollees in California may see their coverage canceled this year due to ACA requirements and contracts signed with the state's exchange, according to the San Francisco Business Times.

Two Californians say Anthem pressured them in 2011 into forfeiting prior coverage grandfathered in under the Affordable Care Act, according to the LA Times. Anthem told the LA Times it hadn't seen the complaints yet and could not comment.

Anthem is among those insurance companies coming under fire for sending misleading cancellation notices to consumers and providing little or no information about the health insurances exchanges, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

Meanwhile, state regulators made a deal with Blue Shield of California to delay by three months the cancellation of more than 115,000 individual policies, the Business Times reported.

At issue is whether Blue Shield of California warned consumers about possible cancellations soon enough. While insurers made efforts to explain how the Affordable Care Act would affect consumers, if they sent stern warnings right after the law passed, insurers would have been accused of using scare tactics to undermine healthcare expansion, California Association of Health Plans President Patrick Johnston told the Business Times.

For more:
- read LA Times article
- see the article in The San Francisco Business Times

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