Los Angeles, California-based health insurer Anthem Blue Cross announced this week that policyholders will not see an insurance rate hike on May 1st, after all.
Kristin Binns, speaking for Anthem’s parent company, Wellpoint, Inc, told the Los Angeles Times that clients will “…receive adequate notification of any rate change. Until they receive information indicating otherwise, rates remain unchanged.”
Last January, many individual policyholders who were clients of Anthem were told that they would be seeing a rate increase as great as 39% on March 1st. After a significant public protest, a two month delay was announced.
Under California state law, insurance companies must give at least thirty days’ notice before altering rates.
Anthem has not yet said how long this new delay will be.
Consumers seeking cheap homeowners insurance in Louisiana should be advised that State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. has filed a rate increase request for homeowners policies in that state. Across the board, the average increase will be almost 10 percent.
State Farm is the largest home insurer in Louisiana, with roughly 300,000 policyholders in the state.
Earlier this year, State Farm request a much higher rate increase – an average 19.1 percent hike – but state Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon rejected it, calling it unreasonable, according to a report in the Insurance Journal.
Last year, Louisiana approved an average 8.3 percent rate increase for State Farm, after the insurer filed a request for an increase of 13.7 percent.
The company has also request homeowners insurance rate increases twice in the past year, in Texas, but is reported to have filed suit against the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) because of its intention to post the rate filings on the Department website. State Farm and the state of Texas have been involved in homeowners insurance rate disputes for several years. In November, 2009, TDI instructed SFL (State Farm Lloyds) to refund $310 million to policy holders in the Lone Star State, after discovering that the insurance company had been overcharging clients for the past six years.
The repayments were halted when State Farm appealed the Texas order. The case remains unresolved.