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Anthem Blue Cross Delays Rate Hike

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Sacramento, CA– The largest health plan in California will reduce its proposed health insurance rates.

According to Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, Anthem Blue Cross, will delay and reduce hikes that would have hit some 600,000 policyholders.  Anthem is one of four major health insurers in the state who earlier agreed to put off premium increases for at least 60 days at the request of the state Insurance Commissioner.

Jones said, “As a result of the Department of Insurance review, Anthem Blue Cross is reducing its rate increase from 16.4 percent to 9.1 percent, delaying the effective date of the rate increase from April 1st to July 1st, and delaying increases in co-payments and deductibles proposed for April 1st to January 1st, 2012. All told, this will save Anthem Blue Cross policyholders a total of at least $40 million.”

Anthem Blue Cross said it still lost $110 million on individual health insurance coverage in California last year and expected to lose money again this year despite the upcoming increases.

Under state law, Jones has no authority to reject health insurance premium increases. A bill that would give that power to the commissioner is currently before the Legislature.

“AB 52 would give me the power to reject excessive rate increases,” said Jones. “Californians should write, call and email their legislators and urge them to support Assembly Bill 52.”

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