Kaiser Won't Reinstate Illegally Axed Policy, Action Alleges
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (CN) – Despite admitting its own error, Kaiser cancelled a family’s insurance policy and refuses to reinstate it, according to a lawsuit filed in Gwinnett County Superior Court.
Aamir Notta, Arshella Notta, Eshan Notta and Arisha Notta sued Kaiser Permanente Insurance Company for breach of contract and violations of Georgia’s Fair Business Practices Act and the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.
Plaintiff Aamir Notta, the primary policy holder, has maintained insurance for himself and his family for nearly 20 years with defendant Kaiser, according to the action, paying approximately $1,700 a month for it.
On Jan. 16, 2019, Notta received an automated call from Kaiser alerting him that his account needed action. Notta says he immediately called Kaiser Member Services and was assured by a representative named Latrell that there was no problem with his account, and he was advised to ignore the robo-call. This happened a second time on Jan. 29, and he was again assured there was no problem and to ignore the call, the suit states.
On Feb. 6, 2019, when Notta called to schedule an appointment, he was told that “the insurance policy was cancelled and could not be reinstated,” the complaint claims.
On Feb. 10, Notta received a letter dated Feb. 5, stating that as of Feb. 1 his payment was declined and he needed to update his payment method to maintain coverage, according to the action.
Notta says he contacted his personal insurance agent on Feb. 11, who in turn contacted the sales manager for individuals and small business clients. Notta also visited Kaiser’s Gwinnett area business office, “where he connected with a top-level supervisor,” the suit states, who “confirmed that defendant made an error, and was unclear as to why defendant’s back office would not reinstate the policy,” the suit states.
After many calls from the supervisor to Member Services and other supervisors, it was determined that an additional credit authorization was required due to a premium increase, according to the action. This was the first time Notta learned why the policies had been cancelled, the suit states.
All of the consulted Kaiser supervisors agreed that defendant Kaiser was at fault, the complaint claims.
However, on Feb. 17, Notta received a cancellation notice dated Feb. 11 that said his policy was cancelled as of Dec. 31, 2018, and Kaiser still refuses to reinstate the cancelled coverage, the action alleges.
Georgia’s Fair Business Practices Act prohibits unfair or deceptive acts in consumer transactions, yet despite admitting its own error, Kaiser has not reinstated Notta’s insurance policy, the complaint charges.
Under Georgia state law, “written notice of cancellation must be delivered to the insured stating the time when the cancellation will be effective, which shall not be less than 30 days from the date of mailing of such notice of cancellation,” according to the action.
The Notta family seeks reinstatement of their health insurance policy, reimbursement for medical expenses that would ordinarily be covered under the wrongfully terminated policy, legal costs and “any such other relief as deemed just and proper” by the court. They are represented by Sheetal R. Desai of The Trusted Lawyers A Desai Law Group, PC in Duluth, Georgia.