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Missouri reaches settlement over insurance

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ST. LOUIS (AP) _ An insurance company has agreed to return nearly $8 million to St. Louis area consumers as part of a settlement over allegations that the insurer didn’t tell customers about a cheaper, identical plan.

Anthem BlueCross BlueShield of Missouri is returning a total of $7.8 million to about 5,500 consumers in the St. Louis area as part of the agreement reached with the Missouri Department of Insurance.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/1pRpI3w ) Anthem denies wrongdoing and any failure to provide information, but says it agreed to the settlement to avoid litigation costs.

Anthem spokeswoman Deb Wiethop says the average check per consumer for premiums previously paid into the more expensive plan will be slightly more than $1,000.