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Anthem Blue Cross health insurance rates on the rise across the country

Posted On Thu, February 18, 2010

Health insurance policy holders in a number of states may be in line for increases of their rates, based on the recent actions by some insurers.

One insurer looking to up its rates is Anthem Blue Cross, which recently notified 800,000 customers in California that it would be raising its rates by 39 percent on March 1, according to the Associated Press.

Additionally, some individual policyholders in Maine stand to see increases of 23 percent following a 32 percent hike the year prior.

"The rate request should be denied on its face. It's outrageous," said Greg Howard, the spokesman for Maine Change That Works, according to the AP. "We are in the middle of ... this record-breaking type of recession, and they're doing what they need to guarantee profit margin."

Oregon and Kansas are also in line for similar increases in the next year as well.

The Obama Administration reacted strongly to the news of the proposed hikes and has stepped up pressure to pass healthcare reform that could put an end to the hikes. In a report released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the recent rate increases are described as "disturbing examples of the problems that make reforming our health insurance system more important than ever," Reuters reported.

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