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Anthem Blue Cross Puts Rate Increase On Hold

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Aired 4/26/10

Anthem Blue Cross has called off a premium increase that was scheduled to take effect this Saturday. The insurer won't say when some 800-thousand individual policy holders in California will have to pay higher premiums.

Anthem Blue Cross has called off a premium increase that was scheduled to take effect this Saturday. The insurer won't say when some 800,000 individual policy holders in California will have to pay higher premiums.

Earlier this year, Anthem Blue Cross announced it would raise rates for individual policy holders up to 39 percent. After heavy public criticism, the company delayed the increase until May.

Anthem member Ken Sergi lives in North Park. He says last year, his premiums went up $1,800 dollars. Sergi says restrictive rules prevent him from changing companies.

"I have no choice but to keep the policy, and they have the power to cancel, deny, or not renew me at any time," Sergi complains. "And if they do, I'm stuck."

Consumer advocates believe it's not a matter of if Anthem Blue Cross will raise rates this year, it's a matter of when.

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