Anthem Sued Over Coverage of Eating Disorders, Mental Health

Employee Benefits News examines legal developments that impact the employee benefits and executive compensation employers provide, including federal and state legislation, rules from federal...

By Jacklyn Wille

Community Insurance Co. faces a proposed class action claiming the insurer wrongly refuses to cover residential treatment for patients with eating disorders and other mental health issues ( Berg v. Cmty. Ins. Co. , N.D. Ohio, No. 1:17-cv-01125-DAP, complaint filed 5/30/17 ).

A Case Western Reserve University employee says that Community—which does business in Ohio as Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield—should have covered nearly $60,000 in medical bills related to her daughter’s mental health and eating disorder treatment. The lawsuit, filed May 30, makes claims under the federal mental health parity law and seeks to represent a class of all Anthem-insured people who were subject to the blanket exclusion for residential treatment centers.

Other insurers also are facing proposed class actions over residential treatments for mental health issues and eating disorders. Anthem Blue Cross Life & Health Insurance Co. recently won an early round in a federal court in California in a lawsuit over residential treatment. A similar case is pending against Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc.

The case against Community was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio by Strauss Troy Co. and Jordan Lewis PA.

Community didn’t respond to Bloomberg BNA’s request for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jacklyn Wille in Washington at jwille@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at jmeyer@bna.com

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