Blue Shield Sells Maternity Coverage to Men, Class Claims

     LOS ANGELES (CN) – Blue Shield of California rakes in higher insurance premiums by selling men policies with unnecessary maternity-care coverage, a class claims in Superior Court.

     “Blue Shield’s conduct is ‘unfair’ because Defendant fails to exclude maternity coverage for individuals who cannot conceivably use maternity care coverage,” says lead plaintiff Al Van Slyke, a Blue Shield customer.
     He says individual insurance policies with coverage for maternity care can have up to 30 percent higher premiums “than the identical policy without maternity care coverage.”
     “Blue Shield routinely sells individual health insurance policies that include maternity care coverage without informing its insured that an identical policy without maternity care coverage is available for substantially lower premiums,” the lawsuit states.
     Van Slyke says Blue Shield sells the maternity-care plans to single men, older couples and others “with the knowledge that the increased premiums it collects will be pure profit.”
     Class members seek restitution and disgorgement for the alleged violations of California’s business and professions code and negligence. They also demand an order barring Blue Shield from selling policies with maternity-care coverage to male customers.
     Their attorney is Brian Kabateck with Kabateck Brown Kellner.

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