Anthem Blue Cross to Lower Rate Increases on Individual Plans

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced that Anthem Blue Cross will reduce its recently implemented premium increase in the individual market. The 17.93% average rate increase was effective February 1, but is being lowered to 13.87% on average for Anthem’s health insurance products sold to people and families.

The change affects 630,000 policyholders. Anthem Blue Cross will lower the premiums for these individual market products. Policyholders who switched to a lower cost product can switch back to their former product. Those who dropped coverage because of the rate increase can re-enroll without going through medical underwriting.

Even with this decrease, Anthem Blue Cross policyholders in the individual market will have experienced an average 22% rate increase over the previous 12 months.

Commissioner Jones authored legislation four years in a row while serving in the State Assembly and then sponsored AB 52 (Feuer) in the last legislative session, which would have given the insurance commissioner the authority to reject excessive rate increases and limited health insurance carriers to one rate increase per year.

Today, the Department of Insurance reviews proposed rate increases, but the health insurance carriers can implement rate increases without approval from the insurance commissioner. The bills authored by then Assembly Member Jones and Assembly Member Feuer passed the State Assembly, but failed in the State Senate. For more information, visit www.insurance.ca.gov.

Last Updated 9/8/2017

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