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Health Insurance Premiums Going Up

Evening Edition

Above: KPBS reporters Kenny Goldberg and Katie Orr talk about health care reform and the Supreme Court's deliberations.

Aired 3/30/12 on KPBS News.

Many California consumers and small business will see their health insurance premiums rise over the next few months.

— Health insurance premiums are going up again. The state's largest insurers are raising rates over the next few months.

Anthem Blue Cross will raise premiums on individual policy holders up to 14 percent on April 1. Blue Shield, Aetna, and Kaiser Permanente will increase rates on small group plans.

Jamie Court is president of the non-profit group Consumer Watchdog. He said there's just no end in sight.

"Our consumer group got hit with an 18 percent rate hike," Court complained. "We're gonna have to change our plan. This is hitting everybody, but particularly, the individuals who can afford it least, and the small businesses that can afford it least."

A spokesman for Anthem Blue Cross said the rate hikes are needed to cover the costs of recent mandated benefits.

Over the last 10 years, the cost of health insurance has risen much higher than the overall rate of inflation.

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