Thursday :: Apr 29, 2010

Anthem Gets Flagged

by Steve

This is amazing.

Anthem Blue Cross, the California health insurer that faced public outrage after it proposed raising premiums by as much as 39 percent for its individual policyholders, has withdrawn the proposed increase and plans to refile new rates next month, its parent company, WellPoint Inc., said today.

And why did this multi-billion dollar insurance behemoth withdraw their application today?

While the insurer attributed its decision in part to "inadvertent miscalculations" it made in calculating medical costs, the state Department of Insurance said an independent actuarial review revealed substantial errors that were out of synch with medical inflation trends.

They got caught gouging.

Poizner, a GOP primary candidate for governor, today released a 10-paged summary of an analysis of the rate hikes, which found such problems as the double counting of aging in calculating medical cost trends as well as errors in projecting claims for certain risk factors. The full report, conducted by Axene Health Partners, is expected to be released next week.
"The bottom line is their rate application was full of a lot of mistakes and they've withdrawn (the proposal)," Poizner said. "We need Anthem to go back to the drawing board."

If there hadn't been a public outcry over these proposed rate hikes, Anthem would have gotten these rate increases because Poizner doesn't have the authority to stop them. something that is being rectified at both the state and national level. Yet there were commenters on this blog who justified such rate increases because they bought Anthem's argument that medical cost inflation in California actually went up 25%-39% in a year, allowing Anthem to raise the roof on the individual marketplace.

Yeah, right.

Steve :: 8:40 PM :: Comments (3) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!