Anthem Blue Cross Once More Postpones Planned Rate Hikes
Anthem Blue Cross of California has announced that it will delay planned premium increases that were set to take effect May 1, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In January, Anthem Blue Cross informed about 800,000 individual policyholders in California that their premiums could increase by as much as 39% starting March 1. Following substantial public outcry, Anthem announced that it would delay the rate increases for two months.
Last week, Kristin Binns -- a spokesperson for Anthem's parent company WellPoint -- said members "should not experience a rate change beginning May 1." She added that policyholders would receive sufficient notification of any premium hikes and that rates would remain unchanged until further notice (Helfand, Los Angeles Times, 4/23).
Anthem has not indicated how long it will delay the scheduled rate hikes. California law requires insurers to provide policyholders with least 30 days' notice before modifying premiums (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 4/23).
Awaiting Actuary Report
Analysts predict that Anthem will make a decision on the rate hikes after a state-appointed actuary issues a report about the insurers' spending practices.The actuary is expected to determine whether Anthem meets a state standard that requires insurers to spend at least 70% of premiums on medical claims (Los Angeles Times, 4/23). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.