Jones: Anthem Rate Hike Unreasonable
Dave Jones - State Insurance Commisioner
Sacramento, CA -- California's Insurance Commissioner is critical of a new rate increase by Anthem Blue Cross.
The company is increasing the rates paid by small group health insurance policy holders. The hike went into effect on Monday, and policyholders can expect to pay an average of 10.5% more over the next year. State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones calls this increase, "excessive and unreasonable," noting that Anthem posted a profit of 25.2% in 2012, according to recent financial statements.
"Tough economic times in California have been particularly challenging for small businesses," he states. "These ongoing and excessive rate increases are simply unsustainable, as many small businesses struggle simply to survive."
Jones has requested that Anthem increase the rates by only 2.5%. However, he lacks the authority to make them do so. Jones, an elected official, said in a press release that his office reviewed Anthem's rate filing and found "unreasonable components." He says the company is overestimating future claims, and choosing to collect healthcare reform fees related to the Affordable Care Act in 2013, even though the federal government will not collect the fees until 2014.
The rate increase will impact a quarter of a million policy holders.
Written by BJ Hansen