BY MARTIN KIDSTON
Three Missoula businesses have filed suit in District Court alleging that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana added fees to its health insurance plan to provide kickbacks to the Montana Chamber of Commerce as a marketing incentive.
The Union Club Bar, The Depot and the Trail Head filed suit in Missoula District Court and are seeking repayment of all surplus fees charged by Blue Cross Blue Shield, along with punitive damages and attorney fees, among other things.
The suit alleges the insurer, known today as Health Care Services Corp., charged employers an amount in excess of the actual premium. Back then, the plans were known as Chamber Choices, and the excess fees were funneled back to the Montana Chamber as an “unlawful kickback.”