Anthem Blue Cross delays rate hike — again

Anthem Blue Cross is postponing a rate increase of up to 39% until further notice, executives at parent company WellPoint say. In an article by Duke Hefland of the Los Angeles Times, WellPoint did not give any indication it was backing off the rate hike altogether. Rather, the Indiana corporation said it was responding to the request of regulators, awaiting completion of an independent actuarial review at the California Department of Insurance.

Although consumers with individual policies took the delay — the second since Anthem Blue Cross notified rate payers their premiums would increase by double-digits — as a good sign, the insurer only has to give its customers another 30 day-notice before it can implement the rate hikes.

That is, if it passes the test of showing actuaries that the insurer actually spent at least 70% of customers’ premium dollars on medical expenses for individual policy holders.

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