It was a long-time coming, but Anthem Blue Cross has finally been given the go-ahead by the California Department of Insurance to finally move forward its proposed health insurance premium increases. Anthem’s Blue Cross’ health insurance premium increases will affect an estimated 800,000 individual health insurance policyholders in California.
Anthem Blue Cross made national headlines earlier this year when it filed a proposal to increase the health insurance premiums of its individual health insurance policyholders by an average of 20% in California, and some policyholders would have had their health insurance premiums increased by as much as a whopping 39%. Those proposed health insurance premiums stunned a nation, galvanized consumer advocates, and is widely credited with having pushed the struggling healthcare reform bill across the finish line. Anthem Blue Cross was forced to withdraw its original proposal for increased health insurance premiums when an independent actuarial review discovered multiple errors in its filing.
Anthem Blue Cross’ proposed health insurance premium increases will average 14%, but some policyholders will see their health insurance premiums increase by as much as 20%. Officials from the California Department of Insurance stressed that they were not blessing the health insurance rate hikes. Under California law, insurance regulators can only block health insurance rate increases if health insurance premiums do not comply with a 70% medical-loss ratio, that is, if 70 cents of each health insurance premium dollar is not spent on healthcare, and Anthem Blue Cross’ new health insurance premiums have been found to comply with the law.
The California Department of Insurance also recently gave the go-ahead to health insurance premium increases proposed by Anthem Blue Cross’ non-profit competitor, Blue Cross of California. Blue Shield’s will affect an estimated 250,000 individual health insurance policyholders, ranging from an average of 19% to as much as 29%.
More bad news if you’re an Anthem Blue Cross health insurance policyholder: Anthem Blue Cross plans to submit health insurance premium increases for 2011 to the California Department of Insurance this fall so the new rate hikes can be instituted early next year.
Are you an Anthem Blue Cross health insurance policyholder? Tell us about it!
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