Anthem Blue Cross Announces Plan to Adjust Individual Rate Filing in California

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., April 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company announced today plans to refile rates in the Individual market in California.  Anthem will revise rate requests previously filed with the California Department of Insurance and California Department of Managed Health Care as soon as possible, likely sometime in May.  

The new health care reform law requires insurers to maintain an 80% medical loss ratio in the Individual market. As such, Anthem will resubmit its individual rate filings  in California to meet our current understanding of this requirement in advance of the effective date of January 1, 2011.  Anthem previously announced that it will extend coverage for dependents up to age 26 and implement new individual rescission policies in advance of the September 23 implementation date.

By refiling our individual rate requests, we will also utilize updated and real-time medical utilization information as well as address inadvertent miscalculations related to the way in which we estimated our future medical costs in our initial filings.

California requires that insurers notify members of rate adjustments at least 30 days prior to implementing any change. Anthem will provide adequate notice to members regarding how their rates may be impacted by this refiling. Until further notice, rates for Anthem's   individual members in California remain unchanged.

"We think it is in the best interests of our customers and those seeking insurance coverage in California to refile our rates, taking into consideration health care reform law and the most recent cost and utilization information available," said Brian Sassi, President and CEO of WellPoint's Consumer business unit. "Our goal is to make health care reform work for our members."

About Anthem Blue Cross:

Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association.® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association.