Consumers Sue Blue Shield Of California Over Doctor, Hospital Network
Elsewhere, California extends the deadline for people on COBRA to get health exchange coverage, and the Associated Press looks at "reference pricing" that could mean bigger bills for some consumers.
Reuters: California Consumers Say They Were Duped By Blue Shield’s Limited Obamacare Plans
Consumers who purchased new health plans from Blue Shield of California have sued the insurer, claiming they were misled into thinking the insurance would cover their desired doctors and hospitals. In their complaint filed in California state court on Wednesday, San Francisco residents John Harrington and Alex Talon accused Blue Shield of misrepresenting that their plans, sold on California's health exchange, would cover the full provider network advertised on the company's website (Baynes, 5/15).
Los Angeles Times: Obamacare Deadline Pushed To July 15 For Californians On COBRA
California's health exchange said an estimated 300,000 people in the state with COBRA insurance coverage can switch to an Obamacare policy through July 15. The Covered California exchange announced the special two-month enrollment period, starting Thursday, to address confusion about the sign-up rules (Terhune, 5/15).
The Associated Press: Cost-Control Plan For Health Care Could Be Pricey
The Obama administration has given the go-ahead for a new cost-control strategy called “reference pricing.” It lets insurers and employers put a dollar limit on what health plans pay for some expensive procedures, such as knee and hip replacements. Some experts worry that patients could be surprised with big medical bills they must pay themselves, undercutting financial protections in the new health care law. That would happen if patients picked a more expensive hospital -- even if it’s part of the insurer’s network (5/16).