Judge Lets Blue Shield Cancel Realtors’ Group Health Insurance Plan
A Los Angeles judge on Monday ruled that Blue Shield of California is within legal standing to cancel a contract for coverage of up to 8,000 members of the California Association of Realtors and their dependents, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The association in February filed a lawsuit seeking to stop Blue Shield from canceling the contract (Girion, Los Angeles Times, 4/17).
Blue Shield says it is seeking to cancel the contract because the association failed to meet a provision that required 75% of its members to enroll in the plan, the only guarantee issue association plan that the insurer offers in California.
Guarantee issue association plans cover all members of a group regardless of individual medical histories, and state law requires that groups maintain a minimum level of enrollment to spread health care costs among as many members as possible (California Healthline, 2/13).
The association alleges that a provision of the contract guarantees renewal of the health plan, prompting Blue Shield to seek to identify a violation of the contract so that it could leave the market for guarantee issue association plans.
Superior Court Judge Shepard Wiley Jr. said the association cannot stop the cancellation at least until the suit is resolved.
The association after the ruling said it was considering several options, including continuing the suit, seeking help from the Legislature or searching for alternative coverage for its members (Los Angeles Times, 4/17).