State Health Insurers Planning Major Rate Hikes

Consumer groups are crying foul over proposed double-digit rate increases on some health plans.

Some Anthem Blue Cross policyholders could see average rate hikes of 18 percent.
Anthem Blue Cross wants to raise rates on more than 700,000 policy holders next year.  Aetna and Kaiser Permanente are also among California insurers proposing rate hikes.

Anthem Blue Cross Darrel Ng says, "Medical costs have increased by more than 13 percent over last year. And including the rate increases, we'll still lose money next year, so it's something that's necessary to keep up with the increasing costs of health care." 
Jamie Court, head of Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog, calls the proposed hikes "highway robbery." Court says insurers are trying to boost profits before the full implementation of health reform.
"It's being done before the road changes and they can't raise rates at this level."

State regulators are reviewing the proposed rate increases, but do not have the authority to reject them.

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