Blue Shield Of California Plans To Raise Rates
The cummulative rate hikes will affect 193,000 customers with an average hike of 30 to 35 percent , according to Blue Shield. One quarter of the affected customers will see increases, scheduled to take place over five months, of more than 50 percent.
The insurance company said the hikes were due to rising healthcare costs and expenses from new laws.
Less than a year ago, Anthem Blue Cross unsucessfully attempted to bump up rates for nearly 700,000 customers by 39 percent. After massive public outcry, the insurance carrier was forced to decrease its planned increase to an average of 14 percent.
New Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has already received complaints about Blue Shield's proposed increases.
The Los Angeles Times reported:
Jones said the Blue Shield move underscored the need for the Legislature to give the insurance commissioner legal authority to regulate insurance rates the same way he does automobile coverage.
At present, the commissioner can block increases only if insurers spend less than 70% of premium income on claims. Jones' office said Blue Shield's March 1 increase was under review.
Read more about Blue Shield's rate increases from the Los Angeles Times here.