LOS ANGELES, March 28 (UPI) -- Blue Cross of California and Blue Cross Life & Health systematically and illegally canceled coverage for people needing expensive care, ex-members charge.
Ten people who had obtained individual coverage made the claims Monday in California suits filed simultaneously in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
The suits claim Blue Cross has a "retroactive review department" to find ways to drop people who become seriously ill.
"The intent of these cases is to stop this widespread, unlawful practice that is hurting not only the patients but is hurting the hospitals and the doctors," attorney William Shernoff told the Los Angeles Times. "I want to shut that down."
The suits filed by Shernoff, who helped pioneer bad-faith cases against other insurers, seek compensation, damages and a court-ordered halt to the alleged "repeated corporate practice."
Blue Cross, which is owned by Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., declined comment.