Health Insurer Sued for Denying Addiction Coverage

A lawsuit was filed against Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, accusing the insurer of denying medical treatment recommended by doctors for children and young adults suffering from chemical dependency, the Associated Press reported Oct. 4.

The lawsuit was filed by Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch. In the suit, Hatch claims Blue Cross violated state consumer and insurance laws by engaging in a “pattern of misconduct” in denying medical treatment to people suffering from mental illness, eating disorders and chemical dependency.

“It is wrong for any HMO or health insurer to deny coverage for medically necessary health-care treatment,” Hatch said. “The atrocity is magnified when the denials are imposed on children with mental illness and eating disorders.”

Karl Oestreich, a spokesman for Blue Cross, said the company would not comment until they had a chance to review the lawsuit.

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