Anthem will reduce their most recent health insurance premium increase due to active negotiations with the insurance commissioner- there is still hope for affordable health insurance in Santa Monica and the rest of California.

Many of you may have seen news coverage about our agreement with the California Department of Insurance (CDI) to reduce our Individual premium increase that was implemented beginning on Feb. 1, 2013 and impacted approximately 636,000 Individual members.

 Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company (Anthem) originally filed for an average 17.9 percent increase, and after negotiations with the Department of Insurance, agreed to change the increase to an average 13.9 percent increase. As a result of the revised rates, the majority of your Individual clients will receive a lower rate than previously communicated. 

Anthem will lower the premium for these Individual market products and will allow policyholders who switched to a lower cost product to switch back to their former product. The members who dropped coverage because of the rate increase can reinstate in the product they recently dropped without going through medical underwriting.

Anthem is  currently finalizing processes and timelines to administer these changes. The final rates are still not available but we are hoping that we have them by the end of February.

The intervention by the commissioner and  CDI are welcome news for many Californians,  as it really created a hardship for many Anthem policyholders especially families , there is still hope that we will get affordable health insurance in Santa Monica.