Health Insurance Rate Hikes May Reach 80% in California

That's a cumulative increase of three hikes since October
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 12, 2011 4:12 PM CST
File photo: Health insurance premiums are going up in California for Blue Shield customers.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Ouch. Blue Shield of California is requesting another rate hike to go into effect in May. Coming on the heels of two others in October and January, it would bring the cumulative increase in premiums to 50% for more for 45,500 customers and 80% or more for about 900, reports the Los Angeles Times. For a handful of especially lucky people, the increase is 86.5%.

When Blue Shield sent out notices this year about the third potential hike, it calculated the highest cumulative increase at 59%—because it didn't factor in the October hike from 2010. That only ticked off customers more. The company says it's hamstrung in part by new federal and state mandates and expects to lose up to $30 million on individual policies this year. (Read more health insurance premiums stories.)

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