Calif. Regulator Questions Blue Shield Rate Hike

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A state insurance regulator is asking Blue Shield of California to explain two recent rate hikes that average 37.5 percent for approximately 70,000 policyholders.

Department of Managed Health Care spokeswoman Lynne Randolph said in a statement Wednesday that the regulator wants answers in an effort to rein in the “wild west” of rate increases for consumers in the individual health coverage market.

Individual policies are typically held by people who buy insurance on their own because they don’t have coverage through an employer.

The April 18-dated letter to Blue Shield states that the regulator has serious concerns about an 18.8 percent increase that went into effect Jan. 1, and a previous hike of 15.8 percent that went into effect Oct. 1.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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