How to Get Premium Increases Approved

You sell your soul.

When Anthem [Blue Cross] floated that 39% jump last year — it was 24% on average — President Obama denounced it as “jaw-dropping.” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called it a gambit to “keep their profit margins going” and lavish compensation on WellPoint executives. Henry Waxman launched a formal investigation. In California, Assemblyman Dave Jones asked Anthem president Leslie Margolin at a hearing, “Have you no shame?” He also asked “How much profit is enough?” and participated in a rally against industry greed at Anthem’s headquarters…

Now, another California insurer [(Blue Shield)] plans to raise premiums by as much as 59% — and Washington takes this as evidence of how great a year of this reform is working.

The difference? Blue Shield supported ObamaCare.

Comments (6)

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  1. Devon Herrick says:

    People criticize insurers for raising premiums, but the recession had unintended consequence for health coverage. People with health problems tend to hold onto their individual policies even if they are having financial problems because the policy yields benefits greater than the cost of premiums. On the other hand, people in good health are far more apt to drop coverage when money becomes tight. In California the risk pool became sicker while the medical losses mounted. Raising rates was a normal response.

  2. Linda Gorman says:

    And, of course, one company is non-profit and the other isn’t.

  3. Joe Barnett says:

    Can a nonprofit declare bankruptcy?

  4. Jessica says:

    I think you mean Blue Shield supported Obamacare (which it did, along with some of California’s more, er, interesting ideas for health care). Anthem, along with its corporate parent Wellpoint, opposed it.

    Unlike in other states, Blue Shield and Blue Cross are two separate companies here.

  5. John Goodman says:

    That is an error. We will have to correct it.

  6. Virginia says:

    Interesting. Perhaps policy holders will now have to sell their souls to be able to afford coverage.