Thursday, March 7, 2013
California Despite objections from California regulators, Blue Shield is raising premiums on some 268,000 policy holders. It's just the latest in a series of health insurance rate hikes.
A quarter of a million Californians with Blue Cross PPO plans are being hit with double-digit premium hikes.
The rate hike affects people with individual Blue Shield PPO coverage. Premiums are going up an average of 11.7 percent. Some will see a 20 percent increase.
Blue Shield says higher premiums are justified because of rising medical costs and losses from the individual market.
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones doesn't buy it.
"This rate increase from Blue Shield is simply unsustainable for California's consumers," Jones said. "But it's also important to put this in context. This is only the most recent increase by Blue Shield."
Anthem Blue Cross issued double-digit premium increases earlier this year. Aetna will raise rates next month.
Unlike dozens of other states, California doesn't allow regulators to reject health insurance rate hikes.
A measure to grant that authority will be on the November 2014 ballot. Thanks to Prop 103, California regulators already have the power to control the price of auto and homeowners' insurance.