Anthem: Covered California Rates To Increase Less Than 10%
During a Town Hall Los Angeles speech on Thursday, Anthem Blue Cross President Mark Morgan said premiums for individual coverage through California's insurance exchange will increase on average less than 10% next year, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Last week, Anthem and other insurers participating in the state's health insurance exchange filed proposed rates for 2015. Covered California is reviewing those rates and soon will start negotiations with health plans. Final rates are scheduled to be released publicly in late July when insurers submit their proposals to state regulators.
According to the Times, Covered California premium rates are being watched closely because the state is seen as a bellwether for the Affordable Care Act nationwide.
Details of Anthem, Other Insurers' Planned Rates
Anthem -- a WellPoint subsidiary and the state's largest for-profit health insurer -- and other insurers throughout the U.S. previously predicted double-digit rate increases in 2015.
However, Morgan said that exchange enrollees' age and projected medical costs have met the company's expectations.
He said, "We will not have double-digit increases in our Covered California operations," adding, "That's a good indication of how we feel about the success of our early work, because there are other parts of the country where we are hearing 20% and higher."
Morgan declined to offer more specifics on Anthem's planned rates since the insurer still is in negations with state officials.
A spokesperson for Kaiser Permanente said it was too soon to discuss specifics about premiums rates but said "we are optimistic that rates will see only modest increases next year" in Covered California.
Blue Shield of California and Health Net declined to comment on their future premium rates because of the ongoing negotiations (Terhune, Los Angeles Times, 6/12).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.