This case was brought by Elizabeth Black on behalf of all Blue Cross Prudent Buyer health plan members. The class period is from May of 1997 through the present. Only individual Prudent Buyer health plans are part of this action. Group plans or any other plans that are not called "Prudent Buyer" are not part of this class action. Please carefully read the "Notice of Pendency of Class action" that was sent to each class member.
In Mrs. Black's particular case, she became a Blue Cross Prudent Buyer health plan member in 1998 and purchased this health care coverage for herself and her two sons. In June of 2000 Mrs. Black received a letter from Blue Cross indicating that her plan was being modified effective in 30 days. Among the changes to Mrs. Black's plan were the addition of a 10% co-pay (changed from 0% co-pay previously) and the increase in her prescription drug deductible from $100 to $250.
Mrs. Black and the plaintiff class contend that these modifications were impermissible under the law because, among others, the modification was not effective for the following year, but was effective within 30 days. Thus, a contract which Mrs. Black had previously entered into with Blue Cross for specified benefits during a specified period of time (one year beginning January 1 and ending December 31 of any particular year) was being unilaterally modified by Blue Cross.
It is important to note that this class applies to all persons who are covered under an annual deductible Blue Cross Prudent Buyer plan (either a subscriber or an enrollee) whose plan was modified mid-year by Blue Cross such that benefits were reduced. Any annual deductible Blue Cross Prudent Buyer plan from May 1997 through the present is eligible.