Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Rate Hikes

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield had rate increases approved by the California Department of Insurance.  Rate increases average 14% for Anthem Blue Cross and 19% for Blue Shield of California, although Anthem was hoping to get approval for rate increases up to 39%.  The public was outraged over those potential rate hikes so the government stepped in to regulate a lower increase.  Anthem is the largest health insurer in California for-profit, but their proposal for the rate increases was found to have accounting errors so it was withdrawn.

President Obama used Anthem’s proposed rate increases as an example of what is flawed in our health care system.  Consumers should save around $184 million with the lowered rate increases, according to the Department of Insurance.  When you compare health insurance increases by insurers like the nonprofit Blue Shield of California, the insurer says that they have no choice because they are paying that much money out to hospitals, doctors and others for claims.  Both insurers were found to follow the State’s rule that 70% of their income be used to cover actual medical treatment.  Anthem is required to give at least 30 days notice before increasing their customers’ policy costs.

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