LOS ANGELES (AP) — Anthem Blue Cross, the largest health plan in California, is reducing and delaying rate hikes — moves the state insurance commissioner says will save policyholders at least $40 million.

Anthem announced Monday that it will put off a planned April premium hike until July, and increases in deductibles and co-payments until next January.

Anthem also says it’s reducing the planned premium increase from 9.8 percent to 9.1 percent.

State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says when the co-pays and other increases are added in, Anthem’s 600,000 policyholders would have found themselves paying 16.4 percent more in the middle of the year — and some might have been forced to put off treatment.

The commissioner can’t deny rate hikes, but Jones says Blue Shield, Aetna and PacifiCare also have agreed to delays.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (12)
  1. Maury says:

    Why even bother having this so-called commissioner in there if he can’t do squat?
    These thieves will eventually get away with their hikes whether there is a commissioner or not. He’s like NATO, basically a useless agency.

    1. Katie says:

      Well, you could just drop Anthem as your carrier. Oh wait there isn’t enough competition. That is why we need Universal Coverage and why I was happy to go on Medicare. However, my supplement is Anthem and they pay piddly nothing while I have to pay a huge premium. If I go on the senior advantage plan, I lose all my doctors that I am now happy with. I have Anthem through a retiree based plan, and still pay through the nose.

      As far as the commissioner…………..whichever one we have had has saved us from many rate hikes over the years.

    2. Ramalamma says:

      Yeah, that commissioner must be a Muslim, immigrant, illegal, farm working woman. Wait…His name is printed as Dave Jones, but we all know that’s an alias!


  2. Mikey says:

    There is not enough compition because democrats wont allow companies to insure nation wide.

    1. jazz says:

      That is not true. Anthem insures across the nation. I had blue cross in Maryland, Virgnina and DC.

  3. corky newman says:

    the poor supplements, we get small payouts but huge premiums.in 2010
    anthem paid out close to $1100 and i paid out close $3300 and then was informed i got a pay raise to $3800.no wonder i feel taken.

  4. Zenith says:

    If we must have insurance companies (and I don’t think we should, it is a scam), I think premium rates should be related to state of health and not age. Some older people are healthier than young people who are eating themselves into Diabetes and heart disease.
    Physicians should be paid directly by the person who they provide the service for. There should be NO MIDDLEMan (insurance company). They take the money and line their pockets with it and do not pay physicians appropriately.

  5. ken says:

    I have paid medical insurance premiums foe 30 years. I have been relativly healthy for that entire time. I recently had to cancel my blue sheild coverage because the premiums keep going up with no explanation except because of the “rising costs of healthcare. My deductables was $5000. Something has to be done. Nobody got medical insurance 50 years ago unless you were in the military or the government. People that lived well back then were healthy. I believe we were sold over a long time that medical insurance is a must.

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