Feller v. Blue Cross of California, d/b/a Anthem Blue Cross

Our lawyers served as principal litigators and negotiators in this class litigation, known as the “death spiral” litigation, in which plaintiffs alleged that Anthem closed blocks of insurance in violation of the California “Death Spiral” law. The action sought to prevent class members from being trapped in closed plans and subjected to what is known as a “death spiral,” where the premiums for the plans increase dramatically because no new enrollees are being added and younger and healthier consumers move to open plans.  This is especially important for those with preexisting medical conditions. The litigation and the resulting settlement are extremely significant and noteworthy because they involve highly publicized issues relating to protecting patients’ ability to access individual health insurance coverage, despite pre-existing conditions and rising health care costs, and the interplay with the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”). Under the settlement, among other relief, class members are now allowed to switch plans without underwriting until 2014, at which time, under the “guaranteed issue” provisions of PPACA, preexisting conditions can no longer be used as a basis for denying health insurance.