Seattle Times, December 8, 2010

Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler rejected the latest health-insurance rate-increase request by Regence BlueShield and its related companies. The increase was to take effect Jan. 1. The rejection, which applies to individual insurance plans held by about 149,000 policyholders insured by Regence BlueShield, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and Asuris Northwest Health, is the latest in a series of troubles for the company, one of three large insurers in the state. Regence applied for and received hefty rate increases in October. It then submitted another set of rate increases to go into effect Jan. 1, intended to cover the new benefits mandated under the new federal health law, such as covering children under age 26, no-deductible coverage of some preventive services and removing lifetime dollar limits on essential benefits.


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