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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

otice 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:

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

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