People power works. I just learned that Blue Shield of California is canceling its outrageous rate hikes, which totaled as much as 86% for some patients, after we turned up the heat on the company together!
Thanks to your advocacy and support Blue Shield agreed today that there would be no more rate hikes until January 2012.
Of course, that's not good enough. Blue Shield has become the poster child for why we need to give California's elected insurance commissioner the power to reject excessive rates. The company no doubt hopes its move today will remove the pressure to enact California Assembly Bill 52 (Feuer). We won't let that happen.
If you have not yet, and live in California, please weigh in with your legislators for AB 52.
Last month some of you, nurses from the California Nurses Association, Blue Shield patients, and I showed up at Blue Shield's headquarters in San Francisco to challenge the hikes. We were surprised when Blue Shield took a step back that very day and agreed to freeze its rate hike for 60 days.
In the interim, California's elected Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones demanded answers, like how much does Blue Shield's CEO make annually (a question Consumer Watchdog raised early on, which we still don't have an answer to).
We won't stop until our goal of giving an elected insurance commissioner the power to reject premium increases is the law, and every Californian has a public alternative to the private insurers. These are two of Consumer Watchdog's top priorities for 2011, which we shared with you last week.
Congratulations again on today's victory. If you would like to make a tax-deductible contribution to our campaign for premium regulation, we would be very grateful.
Thanks for all that you do.