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Thu Aug 7, 2014, 06:12 AM

Missouri reaches record settlement with Anthem over pricing

Anthem BlueCross BlueShield of Missouri will return $7.8 million to consumers in the St. Louis area as part of an agreement reached with the Missouri Department of Insurance to settle allegations that the insurer didn’t inform customers that a cheaper, identical plan was available.

The settlement is the largest reached in the Department of Insurance’s history of conducting reviews of insurance policies, according to state officials.

“Part of our mission ... is to ensure that consumers are fully informed about their insurance coverage options when they buy insurance,” John Huff, director of the department, said in a statement. “Missourians should know the department will remain vigilant and utilize all of its regulatory authority when companies fail to do that.”

About 5,500 individuals will receive refunds for premiums previously paid into the more expensive plan. The average check per consumer will be slightly more than $1,000, according to Deb Wiethop, spokeswoman for Anthem.


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