Back in August, we blogged that with Covered California’s 2015 health insurance premium announcement it was “time to do our research.” And for the past month, that’s what we’ve done—along with filing two comment letters with the Department of Managed Healthcare.
Although the overall rates are the smallest health insurance increases in California proposed in years, we do find grounds for questioning those for two plans.
Both Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California do not provide adequate justification for their proposed increase—and that may cost some consumers over 44% more to renew their plans in 2016.
Consumers Union also joined recently with four other advocacy organizations to ask DMHC to cross-check what insurers said to substantiate their proposed rates for 2016. Those assertions were based on information in proprietary reports that were not shared. Rates should reflect regulator-validated projections rather than data hidden in confidential reports.
Consumers Union is inviting consumers to join us in a petition to DMHC, urging that the regulator demand that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield give more details about why they are increasing premiums and to make sure those reasons are valid and fair. In addition to the confidential, we call out the following findings:
- Both carriers want to increase spending on administrative expenses and stockpile savings without explaining why; and
- Both companies plan to spend less money on improving quality for consumers in 2016 than in 2015.
If consumers are paying more for health insurance, they deserve to get more from their plans. If you agree, sign our petition by clicking here. DMHC only has until the end of the month to negotiate with insurers, so sign today to tell them to look out for your interests!