An Atlanta-based law firm filed a federal class-action lawsuit Tuesday against Anthem Inc./Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Inc.
The Doss Law Firm, representing two Cobb County residents, charged the insurance giant with misleading thousands of Georgia consumers during last fall's open-enrollment period into believing they would continue to have access to the doctors and specialists of WellStar Health Systems Inc.
The case involves Georgians who enrolled in Anthem's Pathways health insurance plan, which is offered on the individual health insurance exchange created by the Affordable Care Act.
"Anthem informed WellStar in August 2018 that it would not be including WellStar as an in-network provider for its individual health plans during the 2019 coverage period," according to the lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. "[But] Anthem never informed consumers of this fact and engaged in a deceptive marketing scheme to continue to list WellStar providers as in-network during the open enrollment period."
In a related development, Anthem announced a reprieve Tuesday delaying the planned cutoff of Pathway health plan enrollees from the WellStar network until May 4. But attorney Jason Doss said the 90-day extension is “at best a limited and temporary Band-Aid non-solution that only extends the uncertainty and suffering” of the soon-to-be-former WellStar patients.
WellStar is the largest health-care provider in Georgia and virtually the exclusive provider in northwest metro Atlanta. WellStar is the sole health-care provider in 44 Georgia counties.
via Business Journals