My Health Insurance Rates Just Jumped 16%

Thanks to Obamacare! More mandated coverage means I have to pay higher rates.

I hope the Republicans are able to raise enough votes to repeal Obamacare.

Duke Helfand now covers the health beat for the Los Angeles Times. He is their one Orthodox Jew.

He reports:

Another big California health insurer has stunned individual policyholders with huge rate increases — this time it’s Blue Shield of California seeking cumulative hikes of as much as 59% for tens of thousands of customers March 1.

San Francisco-based Blue Shield said the increases were the result of fast-rising healthcare costs and other expenses resulting from new healthcare laws.

Epstein said Blue Shield raised rates again Jan. 1 to pay for changes under the national healthcare overhaul and a new state law that bars insurers from charging women more than men. (Some policyholders will pay less under the state gender law, while others will pay more.)

A third round of hikes scheduled for March 1 comes in response to rising healthcare costs, Epstein said. Those increases will average 6.5% and be as high as 18%.

Some policyholders have seen their bills rise gradually over the last five months, while others will see the charges lumped together March 1.

“It’s unfortunate that they all came in a five-month period,” Epstein said. “Rates are going to continue to rise unless the cost of medical care is brought under control. We need to reduce what we pay to hospitals, medical groups and pharmaceutical companies.”

Despite the large increases, Epstein said Blue Shield would again lose “tens of millions of dollars” on its individual business in 2011.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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