HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Latest Breaking News (Forum) » Anthem Blue Cross seeks t...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 07:28 PM

Anthem Blue Cross seeks to raise individual policyholders' rates (18% average)

Source: Los Angeles Times

California's largest for-profit health insurer, Anthem Blue Cross, is seeking to raise rates an average of 18% for more than 630,000 individual policyholders, drawing scrutiny from regulators and the ire of consumers already struggling with soaring premiums.

Some Anthem customers may see rates rise as much as 25% in February under the company's proposal at a time when medical inflation is running at historic lows nationwide.

The increases are among several others proposed by California insurers, including Aetna Inc. and Health Net Inc. California insurance regulators will take the next month to review whether these rate increases are warranted, but state officials don't have the authority to reject them for being unreasonable.

... Aetna, the nation's third-largest health insurer, wants to boost premiums 19%, on average, for nearly 70,000 individual customers in California, effective in April. Woodland Hills insurer Health Net raised rates last month 14%, on average, for more than 30,000 individual policyholders and their dependents statewide. Blue Shield of California is expected to file for rate increases for individual customers next week.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-insurance-rate-hikes-20121128,0,1885711.story

37 replies, 5215 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 37 replies Author Time Post
Reply Anthem Blue Cross seeks to raise individual policyholders' rates (18% average) (Original post)
Newsjock Nov 2012 OP
Panasonic Nov 2012 #1
RKP5637 Nov 2012 #2
Warren Stupidity Nov 2012 #3
madrchsod Nov 2012 #4
donnasgirl Nov 2012 #5
jtuck004 Nov 2012 #6
donnasgirl Nov 2012 #8
jtuck004 Nov 2012 #16
donnasgirl Nov 2012 #17
jtuck004 Nov 2012 #21
enlightenment Nov 2012 #7
KamaAina Nov 2012 #29
enlightenment Nov 2012 #32
KamaAina Nov 2012 #33
enlightenment Nov 2012 #34
Freddie Stubbs Nov 2012 #37
Diego_Native 2012 Nov 2012 #9
Pterodactyl Nov 2012 #10
Hoyt Nov 2012 #15
Pterodactyl Nov 2012 #23
CTyankee Nov 2012 #22
KT2000 Nov 2012 #11
question everything Nov 2012 #12
NickP Nov 2012 #13
csziggy Nov 2012 #24
question everything Nov 2012 #28
ErikJ Nov 2012 #14
DiverDave Nov 2012 #26
We are Devo Nov 2012 #27
rcmooney Nov 2012 #18
hrmjustin Nov 2012 #20
JimDandy Nov 2012 #25
sakabatou Nov 2012 #19
Steerpike Nov 2012 #30
AngryOldDem Nov 2012 #31
SoapBox Nov 2012 #35
CrawlingChaos Nov 2012 #36

Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 07:34 PM

1. Denied.

 

Anthem should start thinking about lowering it by 120%.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 07:35 PM

2. Ain't this great! We don't need any F'en national healthcare system, it just works so

well the way it is ... Ain't runaway capitalism just the best system in the world! Where's the line, I want my insurance to go up 50% to support the system.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 07:36 PM

3. Private insurance needs to be removed from the system. Nt.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 07:37 PM

4. a never ending shrinking pool of individuals buying insurance

a shrinking base of corporate plans. the business model is losing it`s value.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 07:43 PM

5. I wonder

What the insurance companies would do if everybody in the country dropped their insurance at once.S_ _ t the bloomers would be my guess.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to donnasgirl (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 07:48 PM

6. Oh yeah. Millions more people dying, tens of millions yanked into utter poverty.



That'll show 'em.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jtuck004 (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 08:05 PM

8. Sorry my friend

It is answers like yours is why people will never win.Trust me my friend there is power in numbers and the threat of it will make them step back for awhile.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to donnasgirl (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:03 PM

16. Not my answers. History and human behavior.


People often don't win because they don't have a clear objective, no plan, or poor execution. And sometimes they fail because someone has an inflated, unsubstantiated, and ridiculous sense of the moral imperative of their rightness. Protests with no leverage and no ability to win anything are just PR, which, although not worthless, rarely rise above informational value and sometimes get people hurt for no reason. Frequently they seem responsible for the birth of egos can become as much a barrier as the object they were protesting in the first place.

No insurance = no care. Unless one promotes the Mi$$ Romney solution and thinks 311ish million people can just show up in the ER. (We are assuming they will continue to need care while "protesting", yes?).

Oh yeah, and for perhaps 35-50 million Americans (more?), you will have to cover their fine for not buying health insurance. I'm quite sure that will add to the popularity of the movement.

The suggestion above wants millions of people who have no other option to stand there in defiance, for what? The doctors and hospitals won't treat w/o insurance, so the protest continues as people drop out, dead? Because the greedy bastards at the insurance cos are never, ever, going to give a rat's ass about anything but their profit, and only a fool thinks they will change their behavior, and I suspect the same thing about being successfully regulated. They really no longer need us - there are other places, Bangladesh perhaps, where they can make money, places they can stash it outside of this country where you will never see it. Financial documents creating completely virtual entities that move real money into and out of other virtual entities.

A few people, even a few tens of thousands of people standing on a sidewalk means NOTHING to these people. Get a million, go ahead. Again, they don't really need Americans if they aren't paying them. So someone else comes in. Does anyone think more magnanimous people are just sitting around waiting to take over a dying business? That's near silly.

Think they haven't been practicing for this since 1935? These people are taught the beginnings of power, balance sheets, and foreign language in grade school, while everyone else is studying Dick and Jane and moving from one cubicle or task to another on command (the pre-conditioning for old-style factory jobs). (Note there is no sarcasm thingy here).

One may know or have done some reading about what is happening in the world of health insurance mergers and acquisitions. Among the big perks in becoming a multinational company is the ability to manipulate accounting and avoid taxes. (Check out the the junk bond funds that are masquerading as private equity firms if you want experts in this). And those same people work in the growing and consolidating (power?) insurance companies. Given that we have been able to watch other companies do this since the 1970's, what makes anyone think the outcome will be different this time?

They will never be anything but greedy bastards. They are making a profit from health care, and life has been structured so that most American will need to make payments to these swine. We will NEVER, EVER make that work. The costs will rise, and rise, and rise until that system fails, and then you will find you were there at the birth of another "Too Big To Fail" profit-seeking financial group, the 2 or 3 big co's that result from the acquisition stuff going on right now.

The only real way we will win is to walk away from the tyrants, not as a threat, but really walk away. Tens of millions of people who learn, through their own realization, that they are just pigeons on the menu as long as we continue like this. Create something outside, maybe a government-run system, (a country-wide expansion of Medicare?) and never go back. Pay whatever price to walk away from servitude.

Unfortunately, sales of Lazy Boys and TV Remotes have held up quite well. As long as people are more fond of those than they are the revolution, and the organizers aren't rabble rousing in sufficient numbers, the tyrants can sleep soundly in one of their many mansions.

So most likely we will see more income inequality, more people in poverty and a less educated nation that is slowly falling behind the nations where there is actually demand, the only thing that has ever created a job, for the foreseeable future.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to jtuck004 (Reply #16)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:26 PM

17. jtuck004

I can not argue with that logic my friend,but sometimes we can dream and have some ray of hope in hopes of righting a wrong.There are to many in this once great nation of ours doing with out anything and having no hope what so ever,the only hope they have are the people who say they care but never seem to show up when the shit hits the fan,it will always be my hope that some day we all show that we truly care for one another,not just with words but with actions.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to donnasgirl (Reply #17)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:01 AM

21. Oh yeah. I haven't given up hope <G>. One never knows... n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 08:02 PM

7. So the insurance regulators do not have authority to regulate?

Then why do they exist?

This is not surprising at all on the part of the insurance companies; they are setting their floor in anticipation of the regulation proposed by the ACA.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to enlightenment (Reply #7)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:48 PM

29. Only for health insurance.

I heard our insurance commissioner, Dave Jones, speak about this last month. He has the authority to regulate rate hikes for EVERY OTHER type of insurance: auto, life, homeowner's, etc. Just not health insurance.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to KamaAina (Reply #29)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 08:58 PM

32. That's insane.

And total proof as to why we should NEVER have allowed the for-profit insurance companies so much as a peek in the door, much less a seat at the table. What kind of pull does it take to convince a state to let the foxes guard the henhouse?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to enlightenment (Reply #32)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:41 PM

33. This kind.



California's legislature is notorious for being coin-operated. Lobbyists only have to bribe, er, I mean "donate", to 120 legislators to control one-eighth of the country. And since the legislators are term-limited, few of them have enough juice to stand up to the $$$$$.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to KamaAina (Reply #33)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 11:58 PM

34. Figured as much.

I wish I knew where we misplaced our democracy. I'm pretty sure this is not the way the founders' intended our government to operate.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to enlightenment (Reply #7)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 03:26 PM

37. They can regulate what services insurers provide, but they cannot regulate the price

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 08:12 PM

9. When I worked in the Health Insurance industry

for a couple of the ones mentioned in the article. Our strategy was to put a number out there about 5-6% higher than we really needed/wanted to be at full profitability. Then when the backlash came, we hemmed and hawed and backed down to look like good little corporate citizens while still making exactly what we wanted to make in the first place.

It's all a game to them, my friends. They know the rules and the reactions better than anyone. They play us for fools.

Best thing for us and for the country; Single Payor.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 08:17 PM

10. Makes no sense! Prices are supposed to come down, not go up.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Pterodactyl (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:41 PM

15. Don't think premiums are going down anytime soon until the system is changed.

Last edited Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:14 PM - Edit history (1)

Sucks. But, I think we've made a decent start.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Hoyt (Reply #15)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:14 AM

23. Yeah, I hope the costs go down soon.

I'm going to pay hundreds more in 2013 for my family's coverage. And changes in health care savings account rules mean that I'm going to spend about $100 or more more in taxes on income we use for medical expenses. I hope 2014 will bring a decrease in costs.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Pterodactyl (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:05 AM

22. This is why we got insurance thru the nonprofit AARP. It ain't cheap but it's better than this!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:17 PM

11. Individual policy holders

always take the brunt of insurance company power. When I had it, they regularly denied coverage, lost paperwork, had me running in circles trying to get things approved and had price hikes every year. They have no fear losing one policyholder as opposed to large groups through employers.
They should be charged for the stress they cause.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:22 PM

12. I thought that all the "Blues" are not for profit?

Are they not?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to question everything (Reply #12)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:29 PM

13. I think only Blue Shield is non-for-profit, Blue Cross and many Anthem companies are for-profit.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to question everything (Reply #12)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 01:28 AM

24. Originally they were, but that has changed

Now the "Blues" are overseen by a national organization, but there are numerous different companies under that umbrella. While some of them are still non-profit, some are:
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) is a federation of 38 separate health insurance organizations and companies in the United States. Combined, they directly or indirectly provide health insurance to over 99 million Americans. The history of Blue Cross dates back to 1929, while the history of Blue Shield dates to 1939. The Blue Cross Association dates back to 1960, while its Blue Shield counterpart was created in 1948. The two organizations merged in 1982, forming the current association.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Cross

Prior to the Tax Reform Act of 1986, organizations administering Blue Cross Blue Shield were tax exempt under 501(c)(4) as social welfare plans. However, the Tax Reform Act of 1986 revoked that exemption because the plans sold commercial-type insurance. They became 501(m) organizations, subject to federal taxation but entitled to "special tax benefits" under IRC 833. In 1994, the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association changed to allow its licensees to be for-profit corporations. Some plans are still considered not-for-profit at the state level.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Cross#History


Anthem Blue Cross is for profit and routinely turns down claims. When we were covered by Anthem I thought they were horrible, then my husband's employer switched to CIGNA and they are even more of a PITA. Very few of the doctors I have been using are in the CIGNA network, so I have to pay more to continue using the doctors I had a prior relationship. I was hoping that his employer would change again - in ten years we've had four or five different insurance companies through the same employer - but no such luck. We get the joy of using CIGNA for at least one more year.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to csziggy (Reply #24)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:45 PM

28. For more than 15 years I had individual policies

I got tired of switching carries, either at my work or my spouse's. So figured that, as long as I was healthy, I should get an individual policy and I started with one of the Blue. Was not too expensive but was getting there as I was getting old.

I have to give it to them: two years I had major medical expenses and they covered everything - after my max out of pocket which was quite high. Just the year before I decided to go to higher deductions because I never reached the lower one. Ha!

But when it was time for Medicare I switched to a different plan which is cheaper. Whatever my choice was going to be I was going for a non-profit carrier. Which means that what AARP is pushing - UnitedHealth that pays tens of millions of dollars to its CEO, was out.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 09:37 PM

14. Anybody under 50 should likely move to another country.

Our health care system is out of control and it will consume half our paychecks by 10 years.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ErikJ (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 07:14 AM

26. Non starter here

Yes, I wish we could pull up stakes and move to Canada, my job is one that will help with immagration (SOME company's offer it)
But with the wifes parents getting older and the kids in school, I dont see a chance, really for 8-10 years anyway.
Gotta take it for awhile and try and get change sooner rather then later.
Once I get back to work, that is. I'm going nuts.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to ErikJ (Reply #14)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:57 AM

27. I wish!

It's hard enough finding art teacher jobs here let alone another country...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:28 PM

18. Not for EVERYONE

Federal Govt employees and members of Congress are not getting hit by this raise!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rcmooney (Reply #18)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 11:34 PM

20. Welcome to DU!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rcmooney (Reply #18)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 02:22 AM

25. Welcome to DU!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Wed Nov 28, 2012, 10:48 PM

19. Fuck

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:15 PM

30. What have I gained?

So I currently have no insurance. I just started a new job, but it's only part time (15 $ hr). My major problem right now was when my wife was fired we liquidated her retirement to pay down some of our major debts. So on paper we made close to 70 thousand this last year. Of course with taxes, fees and penalties we actually realized much less than that. Much less...
As a result we do not qualify for anything that is needs based.
With a family of 4 with a special needs child, a mortgage that is upside down and plenty of debt we are dancing on the head of a needle. Fortunately we both found new jobs. I found one after nearly a year of searching and my wife after only a couple of months.
But, I still can't afford a few hundred dollars a month (300?) for insurance that will have a 5000 dollar a year OOP.
If Obama's Insurance love letter were to start soon I probably would be forced to pay top dollar for insurance that I couldn't use that would also force my family into difficult financial circumstances.
What am I missing here.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Thu Nov 29, 2012, 06:09 PM

31. I had Aetna as self-insurance.

But they pulled out of Indiana because of "business conditions," probably because they wanted to raise their rates through the sky and state law probably wouldn't let them.

Now I have Anthem, so I have to wonder how long it's going to be before I see a rate hike here.

This is such bullshit. At times I feel like the whole damn industry is a scam, but you have to have it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 12:01 AM

35. Thieves...

It's criminal.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Newsjock (Original post)

Fri Nov 30, 2012, 03:32 AM

36. Got the letter yesterday - spent the afternoon in tears

25% increase as of Feb. 1. I don't know what we're going to do; who can pay these prices?! They only just raised our premium 20% only 4 months ago. Let me tell about that little scam.

About a year ago we moved across town, and since our premiums are paid by auto-pay, and our policy is a junk policy we don't dare use (we don't actually go to the doctor; can't afford it) - I took my time notifying Anthem of the address change. When I finally got around to it, a letter arrived stating that because of our move, our rates were going up 20%, because rates were higher in our new zip code.

If by chance you know the SF Bay Area, we moved from Campbell to Mountain View. These are essentially identical towns, for all intents and purposes. So we couldn't afford that increase, and I called in frustration to ask how this could be. The rep on the phone said people in our new zip code went to the doctor more than people in our old zip code (bullshit).

Then I said to the rep, well, OK, we're actually thinking of leaving the Bay Area altogether, and can you tell me which areas in California have the lower premium rates? He says that information is not available to the consumer, but if I give him a specific zip code, he'll quote me the rate. Well I gave him zip codes from some of the poorest areas I could think of in the state, and what do you know, he quoted me the higher rate for every single one. Finally I said you mean to tell me that we just moved out of the ONE and ONLY town in California that had a 20% lower rate? Then he announced I was being "stupid" and that this "wasn't his job" and ended the call. They are such liars.

I was actually quite fearful afterwards, wondering if they'd do something vindictive as a result of my call. We do hear such stories.

We are truly in despair. It's going to be so hard to get by, and as tempting as it is to drop the policy, it would be a terrible gamble to lose the catastrophic coverage at our age. If we lost everything we have, we could never recover.

Praying we get some help from the ACA next year, and that maybe it will be enough to pull us back from the brink. Although the thought of how much obscene profit Anthem will realize from the ACA ... now THAT is making me sick.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread