Blue Shield of California has followed its competitors by agreeing to a request from California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones to delay premium increases for individual policyholders by 60 days.
Blue Shield of California delays premium increase
The San Francisco-based not-for-profit insurer had previously declined the request, and said it would go ahead with rate hikes of up to 59%. Blue Shield had said it would conduct an outside actuarial review to make sure the rates comply with state law.
But in a new statement, Blue Shield Chairman and CEO Bruce Bodaken said rate increases slated to go into effect March 1 would be delayed by two months so the state can review them.
“We are taking this action to remove any doubt that the rates we have submitted are necessary to pay the medical expenses of our individual members and meet the new medical loss ratio standard,” Bodaken said in the statement. “Even with these increases, we don't expect the premiums to cover the cost of medical care for these members.”
Anthem Blue Cross of California, a WellPoint subsidiary, Aetna and UnitedHealth Group's PacifiCare have already agreed to the rate increase delay.
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