|WYMAN, BLUMENTHAL ANNOUNCE $41 MILLION SETTLEMENT OF
LAWSUITS AGAINST ANTHEM INSURANCE CO. INC.
|Contact: Steve Jensen|
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, State Comptroller Nancy Wyman and the Citizens for Economic Opportunity today announced the creation of two charitable foundations to serve the health care needs of Connecticut's citizens with $41 million received in a settlement with Anthem Insurance Co. Inc.
Wyman, Blumenthal and the citizens' group agreed to withdraw the lawsuits, filed after the 1997 merger of Anthem Insurance Co. with Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Connecticut, in exchange for Anthem's payment of $41 million.
An umbrella foundation called the Connecticut Health Advancement and Research Trust (CHART) will serve the health needs of the citizens of Connecticut, particularly the indigent, uninsured, and the underinsured. CHART's mission was crafted to allow for service and assistance to a wide variety of current and future statewide health care needs. Serving a similar purpose will be the Anthem Foundation of Connecticut to which Anthem will contribute the settlement funding.
Blumenthal and Wyman said the settlement accomplished the intent of the lawsuits - to recover for the citizens of Connecticut tax benefits and other concessions received by the former Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Connecticut over the last several decades.
"When this merger was approved in 1997, I was compelled to file suit in order to ensure that the portion of this company's profits that belonged in Connecticut stayed in Connecticut," Wyman said at a news conference held at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford. "The citizens and policyholders essentially paid the bill for this company's financial well-being for the last 50 years. With this settlement, Anthem has decided to take its medicine and pay the bill - to the tune of $41 million."
Blumenthal said: "This agreement is a historic victory, establishing Anthem's legal obligation to help improve health care for consumers who need it most. It recognizes the harsh reality that our present health care system is in shambles - requiring radical surgery - not just a quick fix Band-Aid. The new foundation will aim to provide systemwide reforms, and repair the gaping holes that now lead to countless horror stories of people without adequate care and coverage.
"For the uninsured and underinsured, the indigent or unemployed, the foundation will seek meaningful ways to make real resources available through innovative and creative programs," Blumenthal continued. "This agreement can bring an era of enhanced cooperation, instead of conflict, with Anthem and all who share the common goal of improving health care."
Phil Wheeler, President of the Citizens for Economic Opportunity, called the settlement a landmark victory for the citizens of Connecticut.
"This foundation will be the first of its kind in the state, directly addressing the health care needs of low- and moderate-income families," Wheeler said. "Whether families are moving from welfare to work, or otherwise cannot afford quality medical insurance in their job, this settlement is a victory for all of us."
The State Comptroller appreciates input on this and other issues from residents of the state. Please feel free to contact her office by phone - (860) 702-3300; mail - OSC, 55 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106; or, via E-mail - email@example.com
Learn more about the Connecticut Comptroller's Office by calling up our Internet Home Page, at the link below.
For Immediate Release
July 27, 1999
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