Navigation Links
Blue Cross Claim That 39% Premium Hikes Due Only to 'Escalating Cost of Health Care' Trigger Calls for Regulation of Rates
Date:2/9/2010

Consumer Watchdog Also Warns Against Insurer-favored 'Cost Solution': Selling Policies That Amount To 'A Cardboard Box to Replace Our Apartment"

WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross has opened an opportunity for lawmakers and regulators with its premium hikes of up to 39% in California, said Consumer Watchdog. In the face of questions from the White House and an investigation by California's insurance commissioner, federal and state lawmakers should act to regulate health insurance premiums and force insurers to defend every increase.

In recent letters to policyholders announcing yearly premium hikes of up to 39% and perhaps higher, Anthem Blue Cross of California says it is "necessary to adjust our rates to cover the escalating cost of health care." Consumer Watchdog, noting that a 39% increase is 1,500% above the rate of consumer inflation, said the insurer was simply gouging policyholders to raise profits in the face of a sinking customer base.

"Insurers are reaping profits like it's 2007 while their policyholders continue to lose income, savings and security," said Jerry Flanagan, health policy director of Consumer Watchdog. "The companies need to be brought under control, but instead they are lobbying to be allowed to sell so-called national policies that cut benefits and evade state regulation. That's like offering to rent us a cardboard box when we can no longer afford an apartment."

The California Blue Cross unit is the current focus of anger at insurers, drawing protests from the federal Department of Health and Human Services, from President Obama himself and the state Insurance Commissioner. But it is not an isolated incident. Small businesses nationwide received notice of 15% to 20% premium increases last fall from multiple insurers, and this year's jump in individual Blue Cross policies follows outsized increases last year. At the same time, the parent company of Anthem Blue Cross lost nearly 4% of its customers in 2009, while posting profits above 2008's.

"The only way Blue Cross can keep up its profits as its customers drop away is by using outrageous premium hikes to make up the difference," said Flanagan. "If Blue Cross made washing machines it couldn't get away with that. They have Americans over a barrel because it's their health care at stake, and a few companies control most markets."

In response to these unjustified rate spikes, the White House and Congress should embrace "prior approval" regulation of health care rates.

Consumer Watchdog, which pioneered the most successful insurance premium regulation law in the nation, said that strong "prior approval" regulation, requiring full disclosure and regulatory assent before rate hikes go into effect, should be extended to health insurers in every state. Such regulation has saved drivers in California $62 billion on auto insurance rates since 1988, and similar savings would be expected for health insurance rates.

For more information about prior approval regulation, go to: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/insurance/

Consumer Watchdog is a nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization with offices in Washington, D.C. and Santa Monica, CA. Find us on the web at: http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org

SOURCE Consumer Watchdog

RELATED LINKS
http://www.consumerwatchdog.org

'/>"/>

SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Breast cancer prevention practices vary across Canada
2. S.C. BlueCross Creates Corporate Planning Unit, Promotes Davis to Vice President
3. S.C. BlueCross to Integrate Care Management with Personal Health Record in Real Time
4. BlueCare(R) Family Plan, a HUSKY Health Plan from Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Connecticut, Raises Awareness, Funds and Diapers for New Haven Diaper Bank
5. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Corrects News Story about Drug Coverage Announcement
6. Independence Blue Cross Makes Music for Members Ears
7. Hundreds of RNs from Across U.S. and World to Join California Nurses Association/NNOC National Convention
8. Sean P. McLaughlin Joins Red Cross as Chief of Operations Support
9. Harvard Researchers Select S.C. BlueCross for National Honor
10. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Introduces New Health Plan Comparison Tool for Consumers
11. Blue Cross and Blue Shield Initiatives Recognized for Increasing Patient Safety and Efficiency
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/23/2017)... , ... January 23, 2017 , ... ... high-quality general gynecological care and gynecological services for women of all ... care for a wide variety of reproductive services from routine health screenings to ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... ... “Crossing the Bar”: a moving and eloquent drama depicting the events that happen ... creation of published author, Charlotte Hotte, a North Carolina native, a mother of two, ... book to her sister, Denise, wishes to acknowledge her savior, Jesus Christ, along with ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... January 23, 2017 , ... “Life Under Blankets”: ... from an early age. “Life Under Blankets” is the creation of published author, Kimberly ... Circle Campus in Chicago. She went on to pursue a master’s degree in education ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... ... ... Day is a time when many people celebrate romance and love by giving cards, candy, ... the ideal present, Atlanta-based Perimeter Plastic Surgery is offering a Valentine’s Day special: ... and get $50 free. , “A lot of people just buy the more predictable ...
(Date:1/22/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Zifam Pinnacle, an Australian company dedicated to providing a unique ... buyers at the January ECRM Trade Show in Hilton Head, SC. , Zifam Pinnacle ... in all of its creations to help create a more traditional and natural approach ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:1/23/2017)... , January 23, 2017 Longer life expectancy and ... the global market for medical device technologies. BCC Research reveals ... Asia-Pacific region, should see strong growth due to ... disposable incomes. Continue Reading ... ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... 2017  ResMed (NYSE : RMD), BMC (Pékin, Chine) et ... aujourd,hui qu,ils se sont mis d,accord sur le règlement ... BMC et 3B seront autorisés à vendre leurs produits ... et ResMed effectuera le paiement de la décision en ... de Floride entre les deux parties. Le règlement n,inclut ...
(Date:1/23/2017)... Spain , January 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... biopharmaceutical company focused on treatments for calcification disorders, ... enrolled in the Phase IIb "CaLIPSO Study" clinical ... of cardiovascular calcification (CVC) in end-stage-renal-disease (ESRD) patients ... in the last stage of chronic kidney disease, ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: