California Senator Diane Feinstein said Wednesday that she was "deeply concerned" by Anthem Blue Cross’s decision to reduce individual health plan coverage for some 150,000 Californians.
"I’m unhappy, at first blush, and at second blush, I don’t understand it," she said in an interview with KQED.
Anthem said it will withdraw from 16 of the 19 California regions it covers. This means more than half of Californians with an Anthem plan through the individual market -- or 153,000 people -- will have to find a new option.
In an email to KQED, Anthem Blue Cross representatives said the shrinking individual market and changes in federal guidance were the reasons behind its decision to cover fewer Californians this year. These changes will not impact Californians with Anthem plans through Medicare, Medi-Cal and their employer, or plans purchased before March 2010 -- which are grandfathered in.
Anthem representatives also said they'd "continue to advocate solutions that will stabilize the market to allow us to return to a more robust presence in the future."