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Blue Shield CA wanting to raise rates as high as 20%,0,6546740.story

It looks like they are seeking to raise most rates at 12%, but some as high as 20%.  

At Blue Shield of California, based in San Francisco, reserves have jumped 77% since 2006 from $2.2 billion to $3.9 billion in September. That has outpaced the company's 19% growth in annual revenue since 2006.

Blue Shield said its reserves have nothing to do with rate increases, and that money has been put aside for the future benefit of its policyholders.

"Reserves are needed to ensure our members' claims can be paid no matter what," said Blue Shield spokeswoman Lindy Wagner. "We need them to protect against uncertainties like a pandemic or another crisis."

The company also expects higher costs from an influx of new customers under the federal healthcare law in 2014.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime change in the healthcare market that will bring a lot of volatility, and we need higher reserves for that," Wagner said.

Even with these proposed rate increases, Blue Shield said, it expects to lose money in the individual insurance market in 2013.

The insurer said its medical costs for this segment of the business grew 10.6% and what it actually pays is rising 12.5% after adjusting for its portion after customer deductibles. The state's largest for-profit health insurer, Anthem Blue Cross, cited a similar jump in medical costs in seeking rate hikes as high as 25% for some individual policyholders, effective in February.


Looking at their reasoning (that there will be an influx of new customers to have to pay for and the reserves are necessary for that), do you see insurance rates ever coming back down as we have been told by those that promoted the ACA?


Asked by QuinnMae at 9:18 AM on Dec. 13, 2012 in Politics & Current Events

Level 48 (292,509 Credits)
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Answers (18)
  • We ain't seen nothing yet!

    Answer by NannyB. at 11:54 AM on Dec. 13, 2012

  • I work in the health insurance field and everything has stayed the same from what I can see besides the normal inflation.
    I am licensed in 15 states. One place I would like to see insurance go down is Florida. Its expensive there :(

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 9:36 AM on Dec. 13, 2012

  • its hard to feel bad for any company that makes tons of money off of sickness & suffering. i use to have them and they paid for nothing, i paid them $200 a month for one yearly OBGYN visit. id have been better off paying the dr outright. they are raising their prices b/c they can. even if there was no health care law, theyd raise their prices...its what for profit companies do.

    Answer by okmanders at 9:53 AM on Dec. 13, 2012

  • I am with Aetna, and my rates have increased 70% in three years. Ugh!

    Answer by JulieJacobKyle at 11:34 AM on Dec. 13, 2012

  • I think that as more and more of the doctors, lawyers, companies, congressmen, senators, insurance companies come to grips with the fact that SCOTUS failed us as a body to impose the US Constitution as a measure of laws and PBO didn't loose meaning the Obamacare bill will not be repealed immediately, they are having to eat the crow of their support and votes for this bill. They thought that they would show a untied front for their party and they 'guy' by supporting it knowing it wouldn't stand. OOPS! Justice Roberts rewrote the law in the court and let it stand. Then, Romney lost because conservatives were so convinced he would win that they stayed home instead of voting. Now, we have this HUGE TAXATION looming in this bill and people want out. Hypocrites - all of them. You wanted it. Now you endure it like the rest of us will have to.

    Answer by jesse123456 at 8:10 PM on Dec. 13, 2012

  • new customers, keeping up with the cost of the economy and the cost for medical care.

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 9:53 AM on Dec. 13, 2012

  • btw I dont work FOR the health Insurance companies I sell them to people who really need it and I make sure I put them in the most responsible cost plan that covers their needs.
    For example yesterday I put this man that was currently having cancer treatments into a Plan where all he pays is the premium and nothing else the plan covers 100% of everything and yes the premium is about $200 a month but cancer treatments are very expensive and I would pay $200 a month to be fully covered for cancer treatments. I work with Medicare plans which work different then major medical

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 10:32 AM on Dec. 13, 2012

  • I don't know. I know my mom and sister's employers or insurance are going to start charging a fee for being obese (having a BMI of 21 or higher) and almost doubling the fee they already charge for tobacco use. They both are nurses and work in the same hospital, so I'm really not sure who is increasing the prices. They both have BCBS of AL. I'm not sure how much any of that has to do with the new healthcare law.

    Answer by mommy_jules at 10:58 AM on Dec. 13, 2012

  • I also have Aetna and our rates have been going through the roof!

    Answer by missanc at 2:32 PM on Dec. 13, 2012

  • Blue Shield and Anthem Blue Cross propose rate increases like this EVERY year and have ben doing so since long before Barack Obama was elected. It's nothing new. They float it, ratepayers get outraged and then they do a much smaller increase than they'd floated.

    At this time California has no controls over health insurance rates; it's always what the market will bear. California is already setting up an insurance exchange and I suspect the private insurers are preparing for loss of customers to the exchange instead of an increase of customers due to ACA.

    Answer by gdiamante at 11:43 AM on Dec. 13, 2012

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