In California, Faceoff Between Major Insurer and Health System Shows Hazards of Consolidation

More than half a million Anthem Blue Cross enrollees were at risk of losing access to the University of California’s health care due to a contract dispute. UC Health accused Anthem of not negotiating in good faith, while Anthem claimed UC Health was demanding too much. The conflict was part of a trend where patients are caught in health industry contract disputes, leading to higher bills and less provider choices. Despite an eleventh-hour agreement between UC and Anthem, patients are still facing uncertainty about rising health care costs and potential insurance premium increases. Meanwhile, California has set up an Office of Health Care Affordability to address spending growth targets for the industry.

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