Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield fined $5M by the state of Georgia

Georgia’s insurance commissioner says a state investigation uncovered 78,000 unique consumer violations against the insurance carrier.
Published: Mar. 29, 2022 at 2:40 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - It’s the biggest fine ever issued against an insurance carrier in Georgia.

Georgia’s insurance commissioner, John King, announced Tuesday that Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield must pay $5 million due to thousands of consumer violations against Georgian policyholders.

“Since my first day in office, we have been inundated with complaints about Anthem from individuals, from doctors, from hospitals and others across Georgia,” King said. “I instructed my staff to conduct an extensive examination into the carrier’s practices.”

That state examination uncovered a slew of issues, including improper claim settlement practices and inaccurate provider directories. That’s when a consumer chooses a doctor that they believe is in-network because of an inaccurate provider directory, only to find out that doctor is out-of-network, forcing them to pay a much larger bill.

Georgia Insurance Commissioner John King announced a $5 million fine against Anthem Blue Cross...
Georgia Insurance Commissioner John King announced a $5 million fine against Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.(Rachel Polansky)

“As a result, our office has issued the largest fine in agency history, with potential additional penalties if certain benchmarks are not reached,” King added.

King also talked about the insurance carrier’s failure to reply to consumer complaints in a timely manner.

It’s something that did not surprise policyholder and Cumming mother, Tonya Lang, whose family has been waiting for Anthem to come to an agreement with their hospital system, Northside.

“To think that you’re throwing people lives up in the airs over dollars, it just infuriates me to no end,” Lang said.

Commissioner King went on to say that a corrective action plan was agreed upon between Anthem and the state. If the insurance carrier does not develop a new process for handling complaints and paying claims in a timely manner, he said they could be hit with additional penalties.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield issued the below statement to CBS46, in response to the $5 million fine.

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