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News Release
3/8/2011
CONTACT Carmen Balber
Washington, DC– Health insurance companies will escape public scrutiny of double-digit rate hikes if the US Department of Health and Human Services fails to strengthen rate review disclosure forms proposed this week, said Consumer Watchdog. A draft regulation issued by HHS requires justification and review of any health insurance rate...
News Release
3/3/2011
CONTACT Carmen Balber or Doug Heller
Washington DC – The lobby for health insurance salespeople seeks to rewrite the health reform law to guarantee broker income at the cost of increasing consumer premiums, said Consumer Watchdog Thursday.   Legislation backed by lobbyists for insurance brokers and independent agents would let insurance companies pay commissions on...
News Release
3/3/2011
CONTACT Doug Heller
Santa Monica, CA – Anthem Blue Cross has reportedly imposed another 20% premium increase on its individual policyholders in California.  The latest increase comes on the heels of last year's 39% rate hike request by Anthem that was later reduced by about half after the California Department of Insurance found major mathematical...
News Release
2/28/2011
CONTACT Jamie Court
Washington, DC --  Consumer Watchdog today praised President Obama’s announcement at the National Governors Association that he supports allowing states to innovate with health reform, including adopting a public insurance system or single payer health care system by 2013 instead of 2017. The idea is to let states meet federal...
Blog Post
2/25/2011
By Carmen Balber
HHS struck a blow for affordable health insurance yesterday when it announced that $27.5 million in extra grant money will be available to states that have the power to modify and deny excessive insurance rate hikes. Comments were due to HHS Tuesday on provisions in the federal health reform law that require increased scrutiny of unreasonable...
Blog Post
2/23/2011
By Carmen Balber
Affordability is the number one barrier to consumers obtaining health care. The exorbitant premium increases we've seen across the country, like Blue Shield of California’s proposed rate hike of up to 59%, mean more and more consumers who can’t buy insurance at all, or can’t afford to use the insurance they’ve...
News Release
2/1/2011
CONTACT Doug Heller + Jamie Court
San Francisco, CA – Just as Blue Shield policyholders, nurses and consumer advocates arrived at Blue Shield's San Francisco headquarters today, the company announced it would delay its massive rate hikes by 60 days. Previously, the company had refused Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones' request for a delay, even as several other...
News Release
1/20/2011
CONTACT Jamie Court + Doug Heller
Santa Monica, CA – Consumer Watchdog called on Blue Shield Thursday to disclose its CEO's salary and justify how it can hold 12 times the surplus required by the state while raising Californians' rates by 59%. Blue Shield is the only major health insurer in California that conceals its top executives' salaries from the...
News Release
1/6/2011
CONTACT Doug Heller + Jamie Court
Santa Monica, CA – Consumer advocates are calling Blue Shield's 59% premium hike Exhibit A for legislation that would allow the Insurance Commissioner to curb health insurers' rate hikes.  California Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-LA) has introduced AB 52, which would require health insurers to receive approval from the state before...
News Release
12/21/2010
CONTACT Carmen Balber + Judy Dugan
Washington, DC – Consumer Watchdog called on the Obama administration to subject all health insurance rate increases imposed since the approval of the health reform law to new regulations issued by HHS today. The new rule requires public justification and review of any health insurance rate increase of 10% or greater.   The group...