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California insurance commissioner calls on Blue Shield to delay insurance hike

Posted On Fri, January 7, 2011

With a 12 percent unemployment rate, California is among the states hardest hit by the current recession. So you can imagine the reaction of California's insurance commissioner, Dave Jones, when he received word that California residents may see increases in their health insurance premiums this spring.

"These premium increases will impose significant financial burden on struggling families and, in some cases, will lead to the loss of health care coverage altoghether," said Jones.

The proposed premium hikes Jones alludes to are those of Blue Shield, which plans on increasing premiums by as much as 59 percent for some of its subscribers. If Blue Shield goes forward with the increase, they would come in March.

Jones is trying to prevent that, however, calling on Blue Shield to delay the hike for 60 days so that they can first be reviewed.

Seconding that motion is U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, whose office issued a statement saying, "The people of California have a right to be concerned when they see this kind of rate increase month after month...[w]e stand ready to assist [Jones] and the people of California in any way we can."  

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