Could not authenticate you.followers
After Anthem Blue Cross announced they would be delaying another proposed rate hike, Assemblymember Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) stressed the need for officials to be able to reject excessive increases.
“This episode underscores the importance of state officials having the power to reject rates that insurers can’t justify,” Feuer said. “Anthem voluntarily decreased its rates, this time, but we cannot have confidence that excessive rate increases will always be reduced. Families and businesses should not have to depend on the whim of an insurance company to reduce major rate increases. Without a robust rate approval process in place, which my AB 52 would create, Californians will continue to experience outrageous increases.”
Feuer introduced AB 52 in December, which requires health plans and insurers to receive approval from the state for such rate increases. The legislation would ensure that rate increases would have to be reviewed and approved by the state before being imposed upon customers. Specifically, the measure would require health plans and insurers to seek approval from state regulators prior to raising health care premiums, copayments, or deductibles. The bill will be referred to the health committee to be heard sometime in April.
Anthem announced that it would reduce its proposed rate increases from 16.4 percent to an average 9.1 percent, and delay its implementation until July 1. The insurer also plans to postpone additional benefit changes until January 1, 2012. Anthem’s announcement to decrease rates closely follows Blue Shield’s rate increase suspension. On March 16, Blue Shield canceled rate increases that would have affected nearly 200,000 customers beginning on May 1 after receiving pressure from consumers and state officials.
In 2010, Feuer and then-Assemblymember and current Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (D-Sacramento) jointly introduced a far-reaching plan to establish a permanent rate review and approval process after a similar proposed rate increase by Anthem Blue Cross. That measure was ultimately defeated in the state Senate.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.
Leave a Reply