Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 26, 2020

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WellPoint, the nation’s largest health insurer, was ranked one of the ten worst insurance companies in America by the American Association for Justice (AAJ) for its continual, and wrongful, insurance policy rescissions. To learn more about the AAJ report which names the ten worst insurance companies in America, click here.

WellPoint’s bad faith insurance practices

According to the AAJ report, WellPoint, which provides insurance under the Blue Cross and Blue Shield names, has been accused of bad faith insurance practices, such as:

  • Illegally rescinding policies. California’s Department of Managed Health Care (DMHC) fined the insurer $1 million in March 2007 for illegally rescinding insurance policies. Nine months later, California’s Insurance Commissioner announced that his office was fining the insurer $12.6 million for over 1,200 violations of the law including illegal policy rescissions, failure to provide the proper information to policyholders when a claim had been denied and mishandling policyholder appeals.
  • Overcharging customers. Nevada, Colorado and Kentucky have reached settlements with the insurer for overcharging customers in their states. Those settlement amounts were $1 million, $5.7 million and $23.7 million respectively.
  • Engaging in fraudulent activity. In April 2008, Los Angeles City Attorney, Rocky Delgadillo announced that his office was filing a lawsuit against the insurer for fraudulent activity, violating federal and state insurance laws and truth in advertising laws. Damages in that lawsuit could reach over $1 billion.
  • Refusing to pay doctors. WellPoint has been accused of not paying doctors that treat its policyholders on-time or for paying them less than the amount in which they’ve billed. Nearly 800,000 doctors have filed grievances against WellPoint and other insurers over these practices.

FreeAdvice.com survey: 55% of WellPoint customers very unsatisfied

According to customer satisfaction ratings on FreeAdvice.com, 55% of WellPoint’s customers are very unsatisfied with the insurer. Here’s how survey respondents rated the insurer:

Extremely Satisfied: 7%
Very Satisfied: 0%
Somewhat Satisfied: 7%
Unsatisfied: 31%
Very Unsatisfied: 55%

Customers posted the following comments about WellPoint on the website:

  • Beware their high deductible plans, they MIGHT be satisfactory for those who have a decent savings account, but are a complete disaster and rip off for those who don’t. I’m not so sure that you wouldn’t be better off without insurance. With a $6,000 deductible and a sizable monthly premium, we can hardly afford to go to the doctor. I consider this insurance in name only; their executives should be ashamed of themselves.
  • Many doctors are no longer participating because of the poor payments. If I cannot find a good doctor that participates, why pay the premiums?????
  • [I’m] still trying to get them to pay claims it has been 4 months.

If WellPoint or its subsidiaries has denied or delayed your valid claim, they may have acted in bad faith. Consultations are free, without obligation and strictly confidential.