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Monterey, CA : Insurance Rate Hikes Scrutinized : View From A Private Duty Caregiver

Monterey, CA : Insurance Rate Hikes Scrutinized : View From A Private Duty Caregiver Serving, Carmel, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Marina, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Salinas & Seaside, California

Huge rate hikes from many insurance companies has government regulators placing an eagle eye on them. Blue Shield of California succumbed to the pressure on June 8, announcing it would limit the amount of earnings it keeps. The non-profit said it would cap its annual net income at 2% of revenue, a move that will place pressure on other insurance companies, particularly those which aren’t non-profit. “With our 2 percent pledge, we hope to make coverage a bit more affordable for our members,” Bruce Bodaken, Blue Shield’s chairman and chief executive officer, said at a speech at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. “But more importan, we want to demonstrate that health care affordability, which is the key to universal coverage, is Blue Shield’s top priority,” he said. Blue Shield made the extraordinary announcement that in an attempt to make health coverage more affordable, it plans to distribute $ 180 million worth of earnings from 2010, with nearly all customers getting credits against their premiums. It’s the third-largest health insurer in California, with 3.3 million people enrolled. After criticism from state insurance commissioner Dave Jones, Blue Shield in March withdrew a planned rate increase on individual plans which averaged 65% and was as high as 17.2% for some people. Last week, the State Assembly passed a bill that would require insurers to get approval from regulators for rate increases, although it hasn’t worked its way through the Senate yet. Kathleen Sebelius, the Obama administration’s Secretary of Health and Human Services, called the move, “a great step forward in lowering costs.” However, she warned other insurance companies as well. “While such voluntary efforts are great for Blue Shield’s policyholders in California, today’s announcement also reinforces the importance of the Affordable Care Act and rigorous state review of insurance rates,” she said. I applaud the move by Blue Shield. Senior Clients at Family inHome Caregiving face rapidly rising costs of health care, including supplementary Medicare plans, while at the same time Social Security payments have been flat for two years. Anything that can be done to reduce these premiums will be welcomed by millions.

About Richard Kuehn & Family inHome Caregiving of Monterey:

After more than a decade of caregiving, both in a professional environment and for a 97 year old family member I was dissatisfied with service from local caregiving agencies. I became convinced of the need for a service which provides very personal assistance to the elderly and founded Family inHome Caregiving serving the Monterey Peninsula. Please visit my blog where I talk about important senior issues at:
http://www.familyinhomecaregiving.com/Blog

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