Blue Shield of California Ends One-Year Health Plan Rate Guarantees
On Oct.1, Blue Shield of California will stop offering a 12-month rate guarantee for new family and individual health insurance plans, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
New Policy Details
ByÂ endingÂ its one-year rate guarantee, Blue Shield will be able to increase health plan rates throughout the year, instead of waiting for the annual renewal period. However, California's Department of Insurance will need to approve all proposed premium changes.
Ioannis Kazanis, senior press secretary for the insurance department, said any rate increase proposed by Blue Shield or another health plan would be "closely scrutinized."
Blue Shield's new policy will affect individuals and families who purchase coverage directly from the health plan. Individuals and families with employer-sponsored Blue Shield coverage likely will continue seeing regular rate guarantees and renewal periods.
The insurerÂ said it opted to end the rate guarantee because of forthcoming changes under the federal health reform law and shifts in state policy.
The discontinuation of Blue Shield's rate guarantee has raised concerns that other insurers might follow suit.
However, Anthem Blue Cross, Health Net and Kaiser Permanente said they have not taken similar steps (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 9/17).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.