Friday, September 11, 2009

Anthem Arrests Customer For Daring to Question Them

On July 24th, Joe Szakos, the Executive Director of the Virginia Organizing Project (VOP), was arrested at Anthem's headquarters.
Szakos was charged with trespassing on Anthem’s property in Richmond, VA on July 24, 2009 when he and three VOP board members attempted to meet with Anthem officials. Szakos went to Anthem as a customer to discuss VOP’s concerns about a recent insurance premium increase and the company's lobbying against health care reform. Szakos’s trial is set for September 22, 2009, 11 a.m. at Henrico General District Court in Richmond, Virginia.
And this story only gets better...
The nonprofit VOP has 36 employees that receive benefits through Anthem. In a news release, the group said that its premium has increased 14.1 percent this year and that it pays more than $25,000 dollars a month.

“We received an e-mail from Anthem recently imploring its customers to call their members of Congress and ask them to oppose the public health insurance option. Not only was this letter ironic given our organization’s support of the public health insurance option, but it was really disturbing because our premiums are going towards paying corporate lobbyists,” said Szakos in a statement.
So let's recap real quick. The VOP, as an employer, purchased health care from Anthem. Anthem raises premiums for customers, including the VOP. Anthem, contacts its customers, including the VOP, asking them to contact congress and lobby against health care reform. Rather than contact congress, the VOP wants to contact Anthem, which is apparently offensive and/or threatening enough for Anthem to call the police on the VOP.

In other words, when Anthem needed to increase profits, they raised premiums on their customers while continuing to pay for political lobbying efforts to kill any reform. Those are the priorities of the health care industry. Do not let anyone ever tell you that insurance agencies care about their customers. These are the priorities of the bureaucrats that are coming between us and our doctors.

If you feel inclined to contact Anthem, here is their information. Please remember to show them more respect then they will show us.
Individual and Family
Health Plan Inquiries:

Customer Care Center
11919 Foundation Pl
Gold River, CA 95670
800/ 977-8860
Mon - Fri, 5AM - 9PM PST.
Sat - Sun, 7AM - 4PM PST.

Small Business and
Small Group Insurance Inquiries:

Customer Care Center
11919 Foundation Pl
Gold River, CA 95670
877/ 456-6670
Mon - Fri, 6AM - 5PM PST.

Company Business Inquiries:

Mountain View, Calif. Headquarters
440 E. Middlefield Road
Mountain View, CA 94043
877/ 456-7180
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