House Scrutinizes Health Insurer's 39% Rate Hike
Anthem Blue Cross jacks some premiums in California
By Jane Yager, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2010 5:50 AM CST
Graphic shows the change in average annual health insurance premiums and worker contributions for family coverage.

(Newser) – As Congress opened a probe into a health insurer's impending premium hikes of up to 39%, President Obama yesterday cited Anthem Blue Cross's rate increases as evidence of the need for health care reform. "If we don't act, this is just a preview of coming attractions," Obama said. "Premiums will continue to rise for folks with insurance; millions more will lose their coverage altogether; our deficits will continue to grow larger."

The premium hikes will affect some 800,000 Anthem customers in California who have
individual policies and are not part of group coverage, the Los Angeles Times reports. The insurance industry blamed the nation's rapidly rising health care costs on rising prices for hospital care, prescription drugs, and doctors, and said they must raise premiums because of the growing number of uninsured people who depend on expensive emergency room care.

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Showing 3 of 20 comments
brutaltruth
Feb 10, 2010 12:24 PM CST
Changing who pays for it (taxes) doesn't change the underlying cause of high premiums. Address the real problems first: tort reform, lack of competition, et al. Getting the government more involved in health care would be the worst disaster possible.
Derni
Feb 10, 2010 12:12 PM CST
And this is just the beginning america-and you thought we didn;t need health care-ha ha..wait
sankahouse
Feb 10, 2010 6:00 AM CST
"The insurance industry blamed the nation's rapidly rising health care costs on rising prices for hospital care, prescription drugs, and doctors, and said they must raise premiums because of the growing number of uninsured people who depend on expensive emergency room care." They are hoping you will make the inference, as most people do, that the uninsured never pay their bills. That is simply not true. Many of them are covered by medicaide, and a majority do pay their bills. Insurance companies negotiate very low payouts for providers. I did get insurance last year, but for the fifty previous years, I did not have insurance, I did not depend on the emergency room as a care clinic, and I paid my doctor, lab, and medicine bills. I was also charged three times more than what Blue Cross paid for the same services. The uninsured are already subsidizing the insurance companies. They used a faulty argument hoping, like I started out with, that you would make the false inference that none of the uninsured pay anything at all. That is simply not true.