JUDGE UPHOLDS WYMAN'S RIGHT TO APPEAL
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A Hartford Superior Court judge has upheld State Comptroller Nancy Wyman's right to appeal the August merger of Blue Cross/Blue Shield with Anthem Insurance Co., of Indiana.
In a ruling issued Tuesday, Judge Alexandra DiPentima denied the insurance company's motion to dismiss Wyman's complaint that the merger should be overturned because it is unfair to policyholders in Connecticut.
Of the more than 800,000 state residents covered by the company, about 110,000 are state employees, retirees and their dependents, for whom Wyman procures and administers medical coverage. The judge said in her ruling that Wyman has standing to pursue her allegation that policyholders were adversely affected by the merger.
DiPentima also ruled that Wyman is entitled to a court review of the state Department of Insurance's decision to approve the merger. Wyman's appeal charges that the decision was based on flawed financial information supplied by the company that misrepresented its financial strength. Wyman believes the merger placed Blue Cross/Blue Shield in a precarious position that puts policyholders at risk.
``The judge's decision validates our concern that this merger is a no-win situation for the policyholders," Wyman said. ``This ruling proves the merit of our fight for these policyholders to be treated fairly by the company that profited from them for so long."
The case is now expected to advance toward a final review and decision by the judge.?
Last week, Wyman filed a separate lawsuit seeking to force Blue Cross/Blue Shield to return a $270 million surplus to the Connecticut policyholders who created it by paying premiums. The company, which also benefited from decades of tax breaks in Connecticut, wants to transfer the money to Anthem headquarters in Indiana.
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For Immediate Release
November 26, 1997
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