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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/3/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Some premiums have jumped as high as 53 percent since 2010 - long before health care reform

There's an old country saying, which goes, "You can't win for losing." So it seems to be for all the people who had Anthem Blue Cross BEFORE health care reform, also known as Obamacare. As millions were dropped from their existing insurance and forced to sign up for California Care, through Anthem Blue Cross, those already registered with the insurance were stuck with a rate increase.

November's ballot initiative, which bestows authority on the insurance commissioner to deny excessive rate increases crucial for Californians, is waiting in the wings.

November's ballot initiative, which bestows authority on the insurance commissioner to deny excessive rate increases crucial for Californians, is waiting in the wings.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/3/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Obamacare, Anthem Blue Cross, health care reform, premiums


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic online) - in fact, up to 306,000 Anthem Blue Cross customers with insurance policies purchased before Obamacare was enacted will have rate hikes as high as 25 percent. Some premiums have already jumped a whopping 53 percent since 2010, not including this latest change.

Americans were barraged with healthcare insurance cancellations last year. State officials had warned that holding onto "grandfathered" policies wouldn't shield them from significant rate hikes.

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Increased rates will go into effect on April 1, unless Anthem can be swayed by California regulators to back down.

Even worse, the Affordable Care Act offers affected customers an opportunity to buy less expensive insurance.

"Many of the members affected here may be eligible for federal subsidies via the Covered California exchange and may have lower premiums if they decide to switch to an Affordable Care Act-compliant policy," Anthem spokesman Darrel Ng said. By changing plans, however, customers run the risk of losing some benefits and access to their current doctors.

Anthem is by far not the only group raising premiums on older policies. Earlier this month, Blue Shield of California earlier this month was scolded by state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones for an "unreasonable" increase of 10 percent, on average, for about 81,000 insured customers. State regulators cannot avert health insurance rate increases at this time.

November's ballot initiative, which bestows authority on the insurance commissioner to deny excessive rate increases crucial for Californians, is waiting in the wings. Critics of the ballot measure, including insurers, doctors, hospitals, and business groups, insist that if the initiative passes, state exchanges will be undermined and that it will fail to remedy the underlying reasons for the rising premiums.

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