California-based insurance behemoth Blue Shield raised eyebrows today with the announcement that it would be raising its fees--in some cases as high as 59% for individuals, the LA Times reports. The increases will take effect on March 1st, and will likely affect tens of thousands of people. While Blue Shield rates have gone up an average of 30 or 35%, it appears that one in four Blue Shield customers will experience an increase of 50% or more.
We'll see what pans out before March 1st--and how effective new Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones will be at blocking the changes. Right now he doesn't have the authority to do so, but he says that the situation is "under review."
"Blue Shield's increases pose the same problem posed by Anthem Blue Cross last year and other health insurers as well," Jones told the LA Times. "My hope would be that Blue Shield would reexamine these rate hikes, particularly in the face of the impact they are having on individual policyholders."