Monday, February 8, 2010

Obama official 'very disturbed' by Anthem Blue Cross rate hikes


Anthem Blue Cross backpedals on raising rates

Anthem to delay insurance rate hike amid criticism
Feb. 13, 2010

Health insurer Anthem Blue Cross will postpone its much-criticized plan to raise rates for some California residents who buy insurance on their own, after reaching a deal Saturday with state regulators.

Anthem's planned rate hike, which the state estimates would affect about 700,000 customers, averaged 25 percent and would have been as high as 39 percent for some.

Anthem Blue Cross of California, based in Thousand Oaks, agreed to postpone the increase from March 1 until May 1 so California could have outside experts review the company's complex and detailed plan filing, including data on the medical costs it expects to incur...

In this Feb. 4, 2010 file photo, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Blue Cross is obviously feeling very powerful. I imagine it will spend the new revenues on campaign ads to defeat universal health care. Hmmm. I'm trying to think of a more arrogant and smug act of contempt for the people who pour their hard-earned money into Blue Cross.

Obama official 'very disturbed' by Anthem Blue Cross rate hikes
By Duke Helfand
LA Times
February 9, 2010

California insurance regulators asked Anthem Blue Cross to delay controversial rate increases of as much as 39% for individual policies, hikes that have triggered widespread criticism from subscribers and brokers -- and now from the federal government.

In a rare step, the Obama administration called on California's largest for-profit insurer to justify its rate hikes, saying the increases were alarming at a time when subscribers face skyrocketing healthcare costs...

HHS secretary asks insurer to justify rate hike

The Associated Press
February 8, 2010

LOS ANGELES -- The Obama administration on Monday asked California's largest for-profit health insurer to justify plans to hike customers' premiums by as much as 39 percent, a move that could affect some 800,000 people.

In a letter to the president of Anthem Blue Cross, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said she was disturbed to learn of the planned increases, calling them "extraordinary."...

WellPoint sees profit grow eightfold in fourth quarter

The Los Angeles Times, January 28, 2010

CA Health Insurance Companies Pay Fine for Rescinding Health ...

21 Jan 2010 by admin
The recent legal ruling is a result of a lawsuit against health giant Anthem Blue Cross of California. Prosecutors argued that Anthem violated state law by selling health plan members the promise of health insurance, but then later ... “ This puts new cops on the beat,” said Bryan Liang, director of the Institute of Health Law Studies at California Western School of Law in San Diego. “Lots of stuff in the standard operating practices of health plans is going to be affected ...

Patient Sues Anthem Blue Cross Over Liver Transplant - Consumer ...
7 Oct 2009
Ephram Nehme was gravely ill when Anthem Blue Cross of California agreed to pay for a liver transplant his physician said he needed to survive. Then, his condition went downhill fast. The news from his doctor was bad. ... tremendously important issue because most people aren't savvy enough about how to work this system, and it is totally stacked against them," said Bryan Liang, director of the Institute of Health Law Studies at California Western Law School in San Diego. ...
Consumer Watchdog Updates

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