Blue Shield has announced that the consulting firm it hired to review its most recent rate hike plan found no mistakes and concluded Blue Shield should be allowed to raise rates on California policyholders. Though the Department of Insurance got Blue Shield to delay the increase, originally set to take effect today, so the department could conduct its own review, the insurance commissioner will not be able to block the hike even if he finds it to be excessive.  It is expected that Blue Shield policyholders’ premiums will increase beginning on May 1.