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The California HIPAA Dance

For those who have been following the near-hourly updates on my HIPAA insurance page, the one word I would use to describe the recent activity is--CHAOS.

Anthem Blue Cross initiated what has essentially become a "you-know-what contest" between the two Blues concerning their respective HIPAA portfolios.

The chronology is as follows:

Fall, 2009 - Anthem retires the Share PPO portfolio (retired plans do not need to be offered in the HIPAA mirror of plans)

Jan 11,2010 - Anthem Blue Cross announces a complete HIPAA portfolio overhaul, replacing the 1500 and 2500 Share plans with HMO plan. DOI-registered PPO plans remain the same (5000 and Basic 1000)

Jan 15, 2010 - Anthem closes new enrollments on the 1500/2500 at end of business day

Jan 18, 2010 - Blue Shield CA advises an impending change to the HIPAA products, but cannot comment until 1/22

Jan 22, 2010 - In response to the Anthem HIPAA portfolio change, Blue Shield closes the Spectrum PPO portfolio and eliminates the Spectrum PPO 1500 and 2000 from the HIPAA portfolio. New plans will be available effective Mar 2, 2010 and include an HMO plan, 5500 PPO, 5000 PPO and 4000 HSA-compatible PPO

Jan 25, 2010 - Anthem indicates that a new enrollment requirement applied to the HMO plans will go into effect on Feb 8 in regard to the PPO plans as well (DOI plans). This new requirement will, in effect, guarantee that all Anthem Blue Cross HIPAA enrollees will experience a minimum 30- to 60-day gap in coverage between expiration of group (COBRA/Cal-COBRA) and enrollment in the HIPAA plan.

Please stay tuned to my blog and HIPAA page for further updates as information becomes available.


  1. Thanks for keeping us posted. I can always update myself while reading your latest news about California's situation.
    Martin@Life Insurance Questions


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