39% insurance premium increase

Several news agencies have written about premium increases being placed on policyholders of Anthem Blue Cross here in California. The purported increase can be as high as 39% for some holders, even with Blue Cross' parent company, Well Point, seeing profits soaring at $2.7 billion just in the last quarter of 2009. Nonetheless, the company is citing increases in health care costs as their reason for rate increases. (An ironic note made by my colleage Dr. Kevin McNamee: Even with all these profits, Blue Cross has paid the same out of network rates to healthcare providers since the 1990s.)

Unfortunately, there's not much we as insurance holders can do, because it was Congress who in the early 1990s allowed health insurance providers to become For Profit. So even though the Obama administration is looking into this, until Congress and the Senate require insurance providers to become not for profit, there's very little we policy holders can do about these insurance hikes.

I encourage you, especially if you are an Anthem Blue Cross member, to speak to your insurance broker to see if moving to a different insurance company would be a smarter choice. Also, speak to your Congressional representative and Senator to require insurance companies to become non-profit again. Power in numbers