KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Blue Shield Of California Agrees To Postpone Rate Increase

With this announcement, Blue Shield joins other large California insurers - Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna and PacifiCare - in agreeing to the delay.

Los Angeles Times: Blue Shield Agrees to Postpone Rate Increase For 60 Days
After initially balking, health insurer Blue Shield of California has agreed to a request by California's insurance commissioner to delay a March 1 rate increase for 60 days (Helfand, 2/2).

San Francisco Chronicle: Blue Shield Agrees To Delay Rate Increases
Blue Shield of California backed down Tuesday from its earlier stance and agreed to comply with a request by the state Department of Insurance to delay imposing rate increases on individual policyholders for 60 days. Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones last month asked four major insurers with scheduled rate hikes to hold off on those increases to allow the department time to review the proposals for accuracy. Last week, Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna and PacifiCare agreed to the delay. But Blue Shield, which had proposed increases as high as 59 percent in recent months effective March 1, had refused to do so. The pending hikes affect about 200,000 policyholders (Colliver, 2/1).

The Sacramento Bee: Blue Shield Agrees To Delay Increase In Health Premiums
Blue Shield bowed to public pressure Tuesday and agreed to delay plans to raise premiums by as much as 59 percent for customers who buy insurance on their own. The move gives nearly 200,000 Californians at least a 60-day reprieve from hikes that were scheduled to take effect March 1. Instead, the increases will take effect no sooner than May, if state regulators and a company-hired actuary find nothing that could prevent or further delay the new rates from going into effect (Calvan, 2/2).

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