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Anthem Blue Cross Gets More Pressure To Justify Rate Hike

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Aired 2/9/10

Pressure is mounting on Anthem Blue Cross to explain why it's raising premiums up to 39 percent on individual policy holders. California's insurance commissioner says he's looking into the situation. And now U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wants some answers.

— Pressure is mounting on Anthem Blue Cross to explain why it's raising premiums up to 39 percent on individual policy holders. California's insurance commissioner says he's looking into the situation. And now U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius wants some answers.

Anthem Blue Cross has been sending letters to individual policy holders notifying them of steep price hikes. About 800,000 Californians will be affected.

The President's top health care official, Kathleen Sebelius, wants the insurer to publicly justify the increase.

In a letter to the company, Sebelius says she doesn't understand why Anthem is raising premiums. She points out Anthem's parent company made $2.7 billion in profits in the last quarter of 2009.

California's insurance commissioner Steve Poizner says his department is hiring an outside auditor to check the insurer's books. In the meantime, he's encouraging consumers to shop around for a better deal.

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