Do you remember when Obama promised that with his health care law you would see premiums fall by 3,000%?
It was a lie.
A very big and weird lie.
Today Blue Shield of California announced it would call for a 20% rate hike on some individual policyholders. The company expects higher costs from an influx of new customers under the federal healthcare law in 2014.
The LA Times reported:
Health insurer Blue Shield of California wants to raise rates as much as 20% for some individual policyholders, prompting calls for the nonprofit to use some of its record-high reserve of $3.9 billion to hold down premiums.
In filings with state regulators, Blue Shield is seeking an average rate increase of 12% for more than 300,000 customers, effective in March, with a maximum increase of 20%.
Some consumer advocates and healthcare economists say Blue Shield shouldn’t be raising rates that high when it has stockpiled so much cash. The company’s surplus is nearly three times as much as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Assn. requires its member insurers to hold to cover future claims.
“Blue Shield is sitting on a huge surplus that is beyond what is required or necessary,” said Laurie Sobel, a senior attorney for Consumers Union in San Francisco. “It should be used to hold down rate increases when it hits these extraordinary levels.”
California officials can take into account an insurer’s amount of surplus, among many other factors, when determining whether they think a rate increase is reasonable. Both the California insurance commissioner and the state Department of Managed Health Care are reviewing the company’s proposed premiums, but neither agency has the authority to reject changes in rates…
…The company also expects higher costs from an influx of new customers under the federal healthcare law in 2014.
UPDATE: Also today — Aetna CEO Sees Obama Health Law Doubling Some Premiums