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Health Plan Rate Filings to Be Emailed to California Enrollees

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, July 26, 2010

Subsequently, the insurance company backed down. A filing June 30th requested a 13% increase. Anthem's CEO, Leslie Margolin, announced last week that she would step down to help launch a coalition of groups aimed at transforming the state's health care system.

"My job as Insurance Commissioner is to ensure that consumers get treated fairly and [are] charged accurate prices," Poizner said in a June statement. "When we retained an outside actuary to review Anthem Blue Cross' rate filing, we found that Anthem had attempted to increase its rates by 50 percent more than state law allows. By subjecting insurer rate filings to this additional level of scrutiny, California consumers will know that all major insurers are adhering to the state's requirement that 70 percent of premiums are spent on medical benefits."

Health plan premium increases do not require regulatory approval in California although several bills have been introduced to change that law.

Also, the state's four largest insurers in the individual market will undergo rate filing review by an outside actuary, appointed by Poizner's office, to make sure health plans adhere spending 70% on medical benefits as opposed to administration or marketing. They include Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna, Health Net, and Blue Shield, which cover 90% of the individual health insurance market.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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