By Charlie Ornstein, ProPublica
When Kevin Kingma received a letter last fall notifying him that his high-deductible health plan was being canceled because of the Affordable Care Act, he visited Covered California, the state’s health insurance marketplace and chose another plan beginning Jan. 1.
Thanks to a subsidy, Kingma’s monthly premium went down, from about $300 to $175, and his benefits improved.
But this month, Kingma, of the Bay Area city of El Cerrito, logged into his bank’s website and saw that his old insurer, Anthem Blue Cross, had deducted $587.40 from his account and had enrolled him in another of its insurance products for this year — he says without permission.
Hundreds of other consumers are caught in the same predicament, insurers acknowledge. And the California Department of Insurance said it is exploring whether any laws were broken when insurance companies withdrew money from consumers’ accounts for plans they didn’t select. Continue reading