Anthem Blue Cross plans to go raise health insurance rates on small business owners and individual plans, despite the fact that an examination by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones found the rate increase to be unreasonable and unsupportable.
"Health insurance rates have risen five times greater than the rate of inflation over the last decade, by 153%," said Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog. "It's outrageous that California, unlike most other states, can't protect patients from unreasonable health insurance rate hikes."
The federal health reform law requires review of some rate increases. However it fails to give states the power to reject rate increases that the data show are excessive or unreasonable. The law relies on the bully pulpit to shame health insurance companies into reducing unreasonable rates, a strategy that has proven ineffective, said Consumer Watchdog.
"Reviewing rate hikes isn't enough when health insurance companies can simply laugh off findings that the facts don't support their unreasonable increases. California families and businesses will continue to be burdened with excessive double-digit hikes until we have the power to say 'No' when health insurers set prices unreasonably high," said Carmen Balber, executive director of Consumer Watchdog.
Anthem Blue Cross imposed an average 16% rate hike on 120,000 Californians with individual policies in 2012, despite the fact that the Department of Managed Health Care determined that the increase was unreasonable. This spring, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services examination found that rate hikes in at least nine states were unreasonable, yet health insurance companies went ahead with the increases because HHS did not have the power to stop them.
we can't wait till we go to the ballott in 2014. Please join this fight NOW!
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