BCBS of North Dakota fires back at patients in air ambulance lawsuit

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota rejected claims in a lawsuit filed by a couple questioning the insurer's reimbursement policy for medical flights, according to Law 360.

In a Feb. 12 filing with the Eighth Circuit court, BCBS of North Dakota said the couple, Ivan and Melissa Mitchell, didn't properly show the case has standing in court.

The Mitchells argued that the insurer's reimbursement practice is arbitrary and defies the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The couple is requesting the Eighth Circuit overturn a North Dakota federal judge's decision and be allowed to prove that the insurer should pay for a roughly $16,000 medical bill from 2014. They said BCBS of North Dakota only covered 21 percent of the original bill for capricious reasons.

"Neither brief [filed by the Mitchells] explains in what respect appellants might be better off if they prevail in this action or worse off if they do not," BCBS of North Dakota said, according to Law 360. "In fact, neither of the briefs even asserts that appellants would be better off if they prevailed in this action or worse off if they do not. Both briefs downplay the facts on which BCBSND's standing argument rests, but neither brief disputes them."

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