Blue Cross/Blue Shield of California Cleared to Raise Rates
Posted Aug 27 2010 7:30am
California insurance regulators cleared the way Wednesday for Anthem Blue Cross to implement scaled-back rate hikes after a previous increase was canceled amid an uproar over its size. Anthem said it intends to put the new rates averaging 14% and as high as 20% into effect Oct. 1 for nearly 800,000 individual California policyholders. Regulators also allowed one of Anthem’s nonprofit competitors, Blue Shield of California, to move ahead with rate increases averaging 19% and as high as 29% for 250,000 individual policyholders.
Insurance regulation is pretty much a joke in the sense that it really doesn’t protect the consumer from the highway robbery that is health insurance. This is the same kind of regulation that allows insurance company CEOs to take huge bonuses while they cut payments to doctors and deny patient treatments. It seems that these hikes only apply to individual policy holders. It is really becoming imperative that patients put together insurance groups. I guarantee you that these increased rates will not be seen as increased payments to my practice from these same insurers. This, like the federal Wall Street bail out, will line the pockets of the insurers and not help the consumer one bit.