The California Department of Insurance says a health insurer in the state has agreed to offer new policies to 678 consumers whose policies were rescinded from Jan. 1, 2004, to May 31, 2008.
Blue Shield of California Life and Health Insurance Company, a unit of Blue Shield of California, San Francisco, also has agreed to reimburse the consumers for out-of-pocket medical expenses and change underwriting and claims practices, officials say.
“Canceling someone’s insurance can have devastating medical, emotional, and financial impacts,” California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner says in a statement about the agreement. “I will continue to take action against those insurers who do not live up to their agreements.”
The consumers affected bought individual, family, or short-term health policies.
The new policies will be issued without medical underwriting or preexisting condition exclusions, officials say.
Any medical expenses that would have been covered under the rescinded policies that are not covered by another source will be reimbursed or paid by Blue Shield of California Life, officials say.