Skip to main content


Anthem Blue Cross could owe big refund checks to 730,000 Californians if its proposed rate hikes of up to 25% are deemed excessive thanks to an initiative voters will consider on the 2014 ballot.

The ballot measure requires health insurance companies to get approval before raising rates and allows that refunds be ordered on rates that are considered excessive after November 6, 2012.  When voters approve the measure, the insurance commissioner will have the power to retroactively order refunds for excessive rates.

Read the initiative here

“Anthem and every health insurance company in California are on notice: Excessive rate hikes they impose today could mean big refund checks for consumers down the road,” said Carmen Balber with Consumer Watchdog.

Anthem has proposed rate hikes averaging 18%, and as high as 25%, for 630,000 individual policyholders.

It has proposed rate hikes averaging 15%, and as high as 25%, for another 100,000 individual policyholders.

The Insurance Rate Public Justification and Accountability Act qualified for the ballot in August, after Consumer Watchdog Campaign and allies submitted petitions containing 800,000 voter signatures.

“Californians can no longer afford the outrageous double-digit rate hikes health insurance companies like Anthem have imposed year after year, and sometimes multiple times a year, ” said Jamie Court, proponent of the ballot measure and president of Consumer Watchdog. “This initiative gives voters the chance to take control of health insurance prices by forcing health insurance companies to publicly open their books and justify rates, under penalty of perjury.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the first person to sign the ballot petition, is an honorary co-chair of the ballot initiative campaign, which is also supported by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones.

The ballot initiative builds on California’s successful model of rate regulation for auto, home and other property and business insurance. That law, Proposition 103, was enacted by the voters in 1988 and has saved California drivers $62 billion since it was enacted.

The Insurance Rate Public Justification and Accountability Act:

  • Requires health insurance companies to publicly disclose and justify, under penalty of perjury, proposed rate changes before they take effect.
  • Makes every document filed by an insurance company to justify a rate increase a public record.
  • Requires public hearings on proposed rate increases.
  • Gives Californians the right to challenge excessive and unfair premium rate increases.
  • Prohibits health, auto and home insurers from considering Californians’ credit history or prior insurance coverage when setting premiums or deciding whether to offer coverage.
  • Gives the elected insurance commissioner authority to reject unjustified rate increases.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I'm currently being ripped by Anthem/BCross (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In California. Many provides don't even accept Anthem Blue Cross any more. I'm told the rates they pay Doctors/providers are way to low.

    Male, 1 Person. I pay $800 a month, $1,500 Deduct. 70% Coverage.

    I reached my deductible once in the last 12 years and only went over by a few hundred dollars.

    12 Years ago, last year under Clinton. $212 a month. $500 Deduct, 90%

    I understand the fear of reaching the place of

    1. You go without seeing a doctor as you can't afford it and even if you do and he has bad news you can't afford to seek treatment as it's to expensive.

    2. You go to an ER as a last resort and are looked upon as a loser/TAKER.

    3. Just die.

    What is so hard for the people who are against Obama Care to understand? Current US Health Care is UnAffordable for Middle Class. PERIOD.

    "It is the difficulties that make us stronger."

    by Chamonix on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 11:33:31 AM PST

  •  We JUST received a notice from Anthem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    S F Hippie, Vatexia

    Blue Cross that our rates were going up 25%!  My husband is so pissed.  "Where are the rate CUTS promised by Obamacare?" he said just this morning and I said the insurance companies are just raising their middle fingers at everyone and saying, "Sue me!" knowing that will take YEARS while they bilk us.

    I'll send him a link to your diary and see if that helps.

    Best. President. Ever.

    by Little Lulu on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 11:39:03 AM PST

    •  I just received a notice from Anthem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      my rate will be going up 25% in Feb.. will be on Medicare in June. Don't think I'll be considering Anthem Blue Cross for any Medicare supplements.

      "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now." -B. Dylan

      by S F Hippie on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 11:54:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site