Lawsuit settlement forces Anthem Blue Cross to refund $8.3 million to Calif. consumers

After agreeing to a class-action lawsuit settlement, one of California's largest health insurers, Anthem Blue Cross, will refund $8.3 million to approximately 50,000 policyholders, according to the San Francisco Business Times.

The insurer will also not make any mid-year changes to consumers' deductibles, co-pays and additional out-of-pocket costs.

The settlement  resolves two lawsuits — one by Consumer Watchdog and another by Shernoff Bidart Echeverria Bentley — that alleged that Anthem "illegally" increased deductibles and other "annual" out-of-pocket costs to individual policyholders in California in 2011.

Consumers no longer need to file claims, and Anthem will repay those who paid more due to the mid-2011 increases.

"Anthem is pleased that all parties were able to come to an agreement," said Anthem spokesman Darrel Ng in a statement.

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