SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Some Anthem Blue Cross policyholders in California are facing rate hikes that will average almost 15 percent — but they’re not the same policyholders who saw rates hiked an average of 25 percent last year, according to the company.

The hikes aren’t unique to Anthem either, according to a statement Thursday from Kristin Binns, a spokeswoman for Anthem’s parent company, Indianapolis-based Wellpoint, Inc.

Instead, they “represent an economic reality throughout the entire industry and reflect the fact that health care costs continue to escalate faster than the growth of premiums,” said Binns.

According to filings with the state’s Department of Managed Health Care, the hike will affect more than 150,000 policyholders who buy insurance from the state’s largest insurer.

The regulator’s spokeswoman Lynne Randolph said the hikes were vetted by an independent actuary to ensure their compliance with law, including federal standards that 80 percent of all premiums be spent on medical care.

The actuary found that Anthem’s latest increase “was not unreasonable or unjustified and therefore, the DMHC does not have any additional authority to block it at this time,” said Randolph in a statement.

The latest hike is slated to take effect May 1.

Neither the insurer nor the regulator could immediately provide information on what the highest rate increases will be for policyholders.

Comments (5)
  1. alison says:

    Actually… our two increases in the last year total over 40%. And we ALSO are among the individual policy holders that received the 39% increase a year ago. This quote from Anthem is WRONG!

  2. Joe says:

    Switch to Kaiser, better care cheaper premiums, I am very glad I took the plunge, and haven’t been abused by anthem and there out of control costs.

  3. paul Dutra says:

    Our citizens are being milked out of billions of dollars enhancing the profits of the insurance companies. The premiums DO NOT find there way to the doctors, nurses or the hospitals. Real health care is being managed by the insurance companies not families & doctors.

  4. bp says:

    Our family is facing the 2nd increase in 8 months – for a total of 51+%.

    “…but they’re not the same policyholders who saw rates hiked an average of 25 percent last year” – this is simply an untrue statement.

    It was not long ago we were paying $~$400/month; with this latest increase, we’ll have to pay $1850/month starting this May. How can this be acceptable?

  5. JBlevins says:

    Insurance rates have been increasing in this manner since insurance was implemented. President Obama’s team removed language from the health care bill that would stop these massive rate increases to sway the repubs to vote for it. Gotta love those repubs, keep big business happy at the peoples expense.

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