Statement by Blue Shield of California Chairman & CEO Bruce Bodaken

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Shield of California will comply with Commissioner Jones' request to delay for 60 days our rate increases that were scheduled for March 1.  We want to be sure that the rates, which we filed in October, are reviewed to the commissioner's satisfaction.

We are taking this action to remove any doubt that the rates we have submitted are necessary to pay the medical expenses of our individual members and meet the new medical loss ratio standard.  Even with these increases, we don't expect the premiums to cover the cost of medical care for these members.

This situation clearly demonstrates that the only way to reduce premium increases is to limit the explosive growth in the cost of medical care. We have long supported comprehensive health reform as a way to repair the broken individual health insurance market and to reduce long-term costs.  The Affordable Care Act is a step in the right direction and we are working diligently to implement the law as effectively as possible.

CONTACT: Mary Taing

Corporate Communications

(415) 229-5627

mary.[email protected]

SOURCE Blue Shield of California