State Regulators Order Reviews of Insurers’ Proposed Rate Hikes
On Wednesday, the California Department of Insurance is expected to announce that it has ordered independent reviews of proposed individual health insurance policy rate hikes sought by four of the state's largest health insurers, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The expected announcement comes after an independent actuary found serious errors in a recent rate filing by Anthem Blue Cross, which led the insurer to cancel its plans to raise rates by as much as 39% for 800,000 individual policyholders.
The independent reviews would examine:
- Aetna, which is seeking an average rate increase of 19% for 65,000 individual policyholders;
- Anthem, which said it will file a revised rate proposal next month;
- Blue Shield of California, which is seeking an average rate increase of 18% for 240,000 individual policyholders; and
- Health Net, which has declined to discuss proposed rates for its 362,000 individual and small business policyholders.
The insurers said they are confident their proposed rates will withstand review.
Gerald Kominski, associate director of the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, predicted that the reviews could encourage insurers to lower their rate hikes (Helfand, Los Angeles Times, 6/16).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.