Aetna Secures State Approval for Plan To Raise Health Plan Rates
On Friday, California's Department of Insurance approved Aetna's proposal to raise health insurance premiums by an average of 19% for about 65,000 individual policyholders, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The insurer is the latestÂ of four major California health plans to receive rate hike approval from the state's Department of Insurance. All of the new premium increases -- which will affect more than one million Californians -- are slated to take effect on Oct. 1.
Rate Hike Details
Aetna said it will raise rates by as much as 30%, with the maximum increase affecting a small segment of policyholders.
Aetna's rate increase had been on hold since July while a consultant to the insurance department reviewed the company's paperwork.
The insurer welcomed the state's approval of its premium hikes, saying the increase was necessary to keep up with rising health care costs.
State officials said the insurance department neither condones nor supports the scheduled rate hikes. However, the agency does not have the authority toÂ block premium increases as long as the insurer devotes at least 70% of all premiums to medical claims.
State officials determined that Aetna's rate request met those requirements.
Other Scheduled Premium Hikes
Health plans that previously received state approval to raise rates next month are:
- Anthem Blue Cross, which will increase premiums by an average of 14% and a maximum of 20% for about 800,000 individual policyholders;
- Blue Shield, which will increase premiums by an average of 19% and a maximum of 29% for about 250,000 individual policyholders; and
- Health Net, which will increase premiums by an average of 16% and a maximum of 25% for about 38,000 individual policyholders (Helfand, Los Angeles Times, 9/18).