By Erin Page
On Wednesday a case was filed in the Southern District of Florida by Sovereign Health of California et al against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida. The case is regarding the validity of assignments of benefits for members of ERISA-funded health plans; it parallels litigation filed earlier this week. Although the suits were filed by different counsel, and feature a slightly different set of plaintiffs, the claims largely track each other.
The plaintiffs are out of network medical providers in the states of California, Arizona, Florida, and other locations that have provided services to ERISA plan insured members of the defendant. As mental health services providers, the plaintiffs explained that they routinely obtain assignments of benefits from the patients in order to pursue appeals rights with insurance companies without requiring the assistance of the patients, which can be difficult especially for mental health patients.