The delays and reductions will save policyholders at least $40 million. Anthem Blue Cross, a subsidiary of WellPoint, has 600,000 members with individual and family plans in the state.
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones had asked major insurers to delay planned rate increases for 60 days when he took office in January, so he could review all recent rate filings.
After review, the agency determined that Anthem Blue Cross's planned average increase of 9.8% for April really totaled 16.4%, because of increases in out-of-pocket costs and a rate hike tacked on because of the agreement with the state to delay implementation, according to Jones.
“In our review of the rate filing, we also reached different conclusions about the trend of medical prices, utilization and membership than Anthem had reached in its rate filing,” Jones said in a news release. “Based on this analysis and the impact of an over-16% increase in rates on Anthem Blue Cross policyholders, I asked Anthem Blue Cross to reconsider its rate increase.”
Blue Shield of California, a separate company, last week announced it would not raise rates on individual policyholders for the rest of the year.