Horsford Accusing Insurance Company of Predatory Practices - 8 News NOW

Horsford Accusing Insurance Company of Predatory Practices

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LAS VEGAS -- Congressman Steven Horsford, D-Nev., is accusing a local health insurance company of predatory practices.

That insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nevada, denies the congressman's claims. However, Horsford is firing back with pointed new questions and asking for a formal investigation.

Around 24,000 Nevadans received letters from Blue Cross Blue Shield. They say that because of the Affordable Care Act certain individual insurance plans are canceled.

Congressman Steven Horsford says the patient letters bury the fact that customers are eligible for government subsidies through the health care exchange.

"It doesn't meet the transparency test because it basically says you can renew your plan or you can enroll in a new plan with this insurance company. It doesn't say option three, that you can enroll in a new plan by going to the marketplace and having insurance companies compete for your business," Rep. Horsford said.

The Nevada Insurance Commissioner decided Wednesday that plans which were canceled because they didn't meet Affordable Care Act standards cannot be renewed.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield denies any wrongdoing. They add they are committed to the Nevada health insurance exchange and say they've partnered with local insurance agents to get the word out.

Dominic Massi is one of those insurance agents.

"I do understand his concern. It is a very confusing time for families trying to figure out what to do with their health insurance," Massi said. "They're not obligated in these letters to promote the health exchange or really lay out every option that is available."

Congressman Horsford lays out a letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services. It says insurance companies must clearly tell customers about the health exchange and not in the footnotes.

"One of the ways to make it work better is for the private-sector insurance companies, the for-profit insurance companies, who are going to make millions upon millions of dollars because of the Affordable Care Act, for them to do their job in properly educating the public on all of their options, not just the ones to renew with their company." Rep. Horsford said.

Horsford is asking the Nevada insurance commissioner to investigate whether insurance companies are knowingly withholding information from Nevadans.

Horsford and insurance agents agree, there is enough confusion out there already about the new health law, insurance company letters need to be as clear and transparent as possible.

Congressman Horsford says that he is working on ways to fix problems with the health care law in his role on the House Oversight Committee.

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