When physicians received a booklet in the mail containing notice of a class-action settlement with Aetna, many of us tossed it in the garbage.
We have posted a copy online for you here:
Shockingly, this settlement binds physicians unless they affirmatively opt out of it. This settlement is a fantastic deal for … Aetna, as it gets out of perhaps billions of dollars in claims by paying only a small pittance on what it owes. How much does Aetna owe you? Most physicians can kiss their claims against Aetna goodbye if they do nothing with respect to this notice of settlement.
The deadline for opting out of the settlement is this Wednesday, February 26, 2014, at 4:30pm (or whenever the post office near you closes). Unless you send a letter postmarked by this Wednesday, preferably by certified mail with a return receipt requested, to a special address, then you are bound by the settlement and you will lose your right to sue Aetna for what it owes you over a multi-year period.
This email is not legal advice. If you have already looked at this settlement and made a decision about submitting claims through the settlement process, then you may not want to opt out. You should assess your own situation vis-a-vis Aetna to decide whether you want to opt out of the settlement or not, or file claims within the settlement. We do not know how many pennies on the dollar you may recover if you stay in the settlement. We do know that many physicians who do not sent a letter postmarked by February 26th in order to opt out of the settlement will be stuck without realizing it, and may later regret their loss of rights.
In a similar settlement concerning Blue Cross, one group of physicians was accused of being in contempt of court simply because they later sued to collect what Blue Cross owed them, after failing to opting out of the settlement prior to the deadline. This settlement is designed to take away rights from physicians.
These settlements bring an astonishing windfall to wealthy insurance companies like Aetna, whose stock has been selling at record highs and whose CEO was given more than $36 million in annual compensation. Aetna refuses to pay on millions or billions of dollars in claims, and then gets most of its obligations erased through this type of settlement, with most physicians not even realizing it.
If you want to opt out of this Aetna settlement — and that is entirely up to you and your attorney — you can use the templates we provide here:
But don't overlook the deadline of this Wednesday, Feb. 26th, for the postmark on your opt out letter or letters, and keep copies of anything you send in.