From the LA Times, Blue Shield of California seeks rate hikes of as much as 59% for individuals,
Another big California health insurer has stunned individual policyholders with huge rate increases — this time it’s Blue Shield of California seeking cumulative hikes of as much as 59% for tens of thousands of customers March 1.
Blue Shield’s action comes less than a year after Anthem Blue Cross tried and failed to raise rates as much as 39% for about 700,000 California customers.
. . . Michael Fraser, a Blue Shield policyholder from San Diego, learned recently that his monthly bill would climb 59%, to $431 from $271.
“When I tell people, their jaws drop and their eyes bug out,” said Fraser, 53, a freelance advertising writer. “The amount is stunning.”
. . . Blue Shield said the cost of health coverage was being driven up by large hospital expenses, doctors’ bills and prescription drug prices. Blue Shield’s Epstein said other factors also contributed to the three increases in five months.
California needs to look into a statewide “single-payer” health care plan,