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Holding Health Insurers Accountable

News Story
3/27/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
With billions of dollars in reserve, nonprofit insurer Blue Shield of California is facing new pressure to offer better prices for its policies. Despite its nonprofit status, the health insurance giant is usually on par or priced slightly above its for-profit rivals, according to a review of rates and interviews with insurance agents and industry...
News Story
3/22/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Critics couldn't help but note that the state Franchise Tax Board's decision in August to yank the tax-exempt status of not-for-profit Blue Shield of California came only days after we reported that the company was spending millions for a luxury box at Levi's Stadium. "The skybox fell on their head," Jamie Court of Consumer...
Video
3/19/2015
Posted by Consumer Watchdog Admin
State officials have stripped Blue Shield of California of its tax-exempt status, an exemption the nonprofit health insurer has held since its founding in 1939. The decision could put Blue Shield on the hook for tens of millions of dollars in state taxes each year.
News Story
3/19/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Health insurance giant Blue Shield of California and state tax authorities both came under fire for not disclosing seven months ago a landmark decision taking away the insurer's tax-exempt status, which had been in place since 1939. The Times first reported Wednesday that the California Franchise Tax Board had quietly revoked Blue Shield's...
Blog Post
3/18/2015
Posted by Jamie Court
Remember, months ago, when we called out nonprofit Blue Shield for spending policyholder money to buy a luxury skybox at San Francisco 49ers games? State tax collectors have finally revoked the nonprofit health insurance company’s tax exemption following years of our criticism about its lavish perks, excessive executive pay, padded bank...
News Story
3/18/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Authorities have revoked the tax-exempt status of nonprofit Blue Shield of California, potentially putting it on the hook for tens of millions of dollars in state taxes each year. The move by the California Franchise Tax Board comes as the state's third-largest health insurer faces fresh criticism over its rate hikes, executive pay and $4.2...
News Story
3/18/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
The state Franchise Tax Board has stripped Blue Shield of California of its tax-exempt status, a move that could make the 76-year-old San Francisco health insurer responsible for paying millions in state income taxes. Officials from the tax board would not explain why they took the action in August, but critics have long accused the insurer, until...
News Story
3/18/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
On the Blue Shield of California Web page called “What Does Being a Not-for-Profit Mean to Us?” the health insurer provides an answer: Operationally, it means we don’t answer to Wall Street – we don’t need to generate returns to shareholders. Philosophically, being a not-for-profit means we’re guided by our...
News Story
2/27/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Letters to the 78.8 million people affected by a massive health insurance security breach are expected to start hitting the mail next week, an Anthem official said Thursday. Messages are already being sent to millions of members who provided the insurance company with their email addresses. The letters and emails are general alerts explaining the...
News Story
2/19/2015
Posted by Mark Reback
Health Net used bait-and-switch tactics to enroll Californians into its inferior health plans under the federal Affordable Care Act, a class claims in court. Rebecca Lehman, of Los Angeles County, and Heather Womick, of Orange County, filed the complaint on December 19 in Los Angeles Superior Court against Health Net of California Inc., and its...