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

(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.

Graphic shows the change in average annual health insurance premiums and worker contributions for family coverage.
Graphic shows the change in average annual health insurance premiums and worker contributions for family coverage.
Dr. Michael Lenoir examines Ebony Jones, 13, as her mother and brother look on in Oakland, Calif., Feb. 3, 2010. California arguably has the most to gain from an overhaul of its health care system.
Dr. Michael Lenoir examines Ebony Jones, 13, as her mother and brother look on in Oakland, Calif., Feb. 3, 2010. California arguably has the most to gain from an overhaul of its health care system.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Dr. Michael Lenoir examines Dante Jones, 2, being held by his mother in Oakland , Calif., Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010. California arguably has the most to gain from an overhaul of its health care system.
Dr. Michael Lenoir examines Dante Jones, 2, being held by his mother in Oakland , Calif., Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010. California arguably has the most to gain from an overhaul of its health care system.   (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
3%
3%
0%
11%
0%
84%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   HitFix   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   CollegeHumor   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!