By Chad Terhune
California’s managed-care regulator announced Wednesday it has fined insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross $5 million for repeatedly failing to resolve consumer grievances in a timely manner.
The state Department of Managed Health Care criticized Anthem, the nation’s second-largest health insurer, for systemic violations and a long history of flouting the law in regard to consumer complaints.
“Anthem Blue Cross’ failures to comply with the law surrounding grievance and appeals rights are long-standing, ongoing and unacceptable,” said Shelley Rouillard, director of the Department of Managed Health Care. “The plan must correct the deficiencies in their grievance and appeals system and comply with the law.”
Before this latest action, California had already fined Anthem more than $6 million collectively for grievance-system violations since 2002.
The state said it identified 245 grievance-system violations during this latest investigation of consumer complaints at Anthem from 2013 to 2016.