Connecticut Files Class Action Against HMOs

September 11, 2000

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal filed a federal class-action lawsuit last week against four major health insurers, charging the companies continually put profits over patients. The suit, apparently the first one of its kind, demands no money but seeks sweeping reforms of the industry.

“It’s a cause whose time has come,” said Blumenthal in an Associated Press report. “Abuses by HMOs have been a fact of life for years now.”

The state affiliates of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Cigna HealthCare, Oxford Health Plans and Physicians Health Services and their respective parent companies were sued by Blumenthal for allegedly failing to tell patients which drugs are covered in their plans; stalling payments to doctors and other providers; mishandling patient complaints; making arbitrary coverage decisions; and withholding information on appealing those decisions.

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