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California healthcare premiums to increase markedly

Posted On Tue, April 17, 2012

Consumer Watchdog Campaign recently released a report which showed that four health insurance companies in California plan to raise premiums significantly by May 1.

Aetna, UnitedHealthcare, Anthem Blue Cross and Health Net all have increased premium rates by an average between 3.66 percent and 13.8 percent, according to the report. For some patients, this hike can jump by more than 20 percent. The Golden State currently does not have a regulator that could contest such hikes. More than 30 states have an option to deny rate increases if they are considered to be excessive or unnecessary.

"Health insurance companies raise premiums behind closed doors with no accountability," said Carmen Balber with Consumer Watchdog Campaign. "California families and small businesses have reached the breaking point with year after year of reduced benefits and crushing double-digit rate increases. This initiative will bring health insurance prices into the light of day and block increases that can't be justified."

California has witnessed a significant jump in insurance hikes over the past several years, the report said. These jumps have brought the figure to five times the rate of inflation. Currently, a ballot initiative that was started by Consumer Watchdog Campaign was initiated to try to prevent such large rises in healthcare rates, in order to help consumers manage their policies better.

Consumers looking to save money on healthcare policies may want to compare their current plan with other health insurance quotes. The rate a person is paying could be far too high for the coverage they have, so it may benefit to look for a different plan. There are many affordable health insurance rates for consumers to take advantage of, and a little searching may benefit in the long run.

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