Blue Shield of California, after proposing a series of increases in recent months totalling up to 59%, is backtracking, but only a bit. Yesterday, the insurer agreed to delay their latest increase, set to go into effect March 1, for 60 days to give Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones time to review the filing.
A review of the filing, under the new rate review law in California, may show that the rate hike is not justified. Commissioner Jones is seeking full authority to reject unjustified rates through AB52(Feuer). Until then, he has some ability to ask for documentation and question the information provided by Blue Shield.
Today, our ally Consumers Union, the nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, put out a statement that based on their analysis of the insurer’s documentation. Their release, entitled, Blue Shield Rate Hike Not Supported By Insurer’s Filing, and the acompanying letter to Commissioner Jones, suggests that the delay is needed in order to review the filing.