Blue Shield in Washington state to increase health insurance rates

Health Insurance News

Health Insurance News

Premiums to rise by an average of nearly 15 percent for families and individuals.

The Blue Shield health insurance entity has asked permission to raise its rates in Washington state by nearly 15 percent starting at the end of October.

The state Commissioner has now been asked for permission to boost rates on October 31 by an average of 14.7 percent.

In its proposal, it has claimed that these new boosted rates would be maintained until 2013 is complete. It justifies its request by saying that the additional funds are required for paying for anticipated medical claims that will be filed throughout that time. In fact, it has said that even with the heightened premiums, it still expects to lose $4.5 million by the time next year is through.

This health insurance plan is a Regence product. That insurer offers group and individual medical, vision, dental, and life coverage, as well as Medicare plans. The organization is a nonprofit, serving 2.2 million members in Utah, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. It claims that from 2009 to 2011, it has already lost $4.6 million within this coverage sector.

The insurer has stated that many carriers in the marketplace have been forced to leave.

As a result, it is making the effort to attempt to continue to provide comprehensive plans that are affordable to as many people, families, and businesses as possible. Regence has also stated that if the increases are approved, members will receive warning on September 1 regarding their information for annual renewal.

A number of policyholders who have individual or small business health insurance plans will, unfortunately, be facing hikes in their premiums of 20 percent or higher over the span of the next few years. The amount of the increase will vary from one plan to the next based on a number of factors, such as the area in which the policyholder is located, and the individual’s health and medical risks.

In 2010, some California customers with Anthem Blue Cross health insurance risked suffering a rate increase of up to 39 percent though massive debates caused the insurer to withdraw that intention and replace it with an average hike of 14 percent, instead.


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