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Covered California and Obamacare related questions from consumers, employers and agents are answered by Phil Daigle with the best information available at the time. Archived entries may no longer be accurate as the Covered California and Obamacare knowledge-base is evolving quickly. TO REQUEST A PERSONAL RESPONSE INCLUDE EMAIL ADDRESS.


Did Blue Shield Raise Exchange Rates?

By on | 10 Comments

Question: Has Blue Shield re-priced their Exchange Plans? A month ago their Platinum (aka Ultimate) PPO was $1631/mo. That price was the same, in and out of the Exchange, and was the price quoted to me within Covered CA when I submitted my application. Meantime, I log into Covered CA and guess what - that $1631 is now $1777. It’s still $1631 on the Blue Shield site for the regular market. What’s up with that?

Answer: Blue Shield did not raise its 2014 rates. The first rate adjustment will be 1/1/15. Covered California rates can differ from off-exchange rates in some cases, but that usually involves pediatric dental and if so the off-exchange rate would quote higher not lower. I’m cannot account for the results you describe. Include your email address and personal information - age, zip, number of family member - for a more specific answer and send it to info@cahba.com.

10 Comments

I concur. I was one of those who first raised the alarm about increases. Now Covered CA’s website is reporting the original numbers I saw in October, which are identical to what Blue Shield is reporting on their website for off-exchange plans.

So Phil was correct when he said it was no doubt a glitch in Covered CA’s system, and that the law prevented any increases from going into effect until Jan. 2015.

Fred, you’re right. The premiums shown for the Blue Cross plan I’d been looking at are back to showing the exact figures I saw about 3 weeks ago.

Not only that, the site seems to have been re-designed. The layout is a little better, and it is MUCH more responsive.

Progress!

Today’s LA Times contains the first news report that I’ve seen on erroneously displayed rates at Covered CA:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-exchange-enrollment-20131206,0,5145290.story#axzz2mb9i9YZK

Even though I am already enrolled and paid my first premium, I pretended to “shop and compare” on the website earlier this week and also found that the rate for my policy was higher (furthermore, the amount due after the subsidy was also wrong). When I shopped and compared today, the glitch had been corrected and the correct rates displayed. Anyone who got the higher price quotes should try again and hopefully you’ll see the correct quotes that you had seen before.

I noticed too that last week the Anthem Bronze Plan I had been eyeing jumped from $344 to $360. This week it is back down to $344. On top of that, the plans that are shown when you use the CoveredCA shop and compare calculator are different from the plans on the exchange. Maybe it’s supposed to be that way, but it certainly isn’t clear.

It looks like all premiums increased since last week on CoveredCA. For the plans I was looking at they increased 4.7% for the Anthem-BC PPO Bronze plan to as much as 6.8% for the Blue Shield PPO Silver plan.

Why is there no news about this? Looks like bait and switch to me.

I too want go add my name to the list of UFO sightseers.

I don’t have specific numbers, but I do clearly remember Kaiser being the most expensive in the category I was interested in followed by Blueshield. But now Kaiser and Blueshield have switched places.

It is possible Kaiser has revised prices downwards.. but unlikely. Another possibility is the original number I looked at was from the estimate calculator and not a firm quote.

But in any case from the consumer side it appears that Blueshield has become more pricey since the exchange opened.

I’m confused. If they didn’t raise rates why are they going up?

Did Blue CROSS raise their rates?

A few weeks ago I looked at a BC plan, the rate shown was $994. (I saved off a snapshot of the page.) Today I took another look, and entering the exact same data I did then, the rate now shows as $1038. So it appears to me that there was an increase at BC.

My rates seem to have increased as well. It went from $1505 at the CoveredCa site to $1521 at the CoveredCa site for the two of us at Blue Shield Silver level.

I noticed likewise generally. Blue Shield now costs more than the previously most expensive Kasier plans. There is definitely a change in Blue Shield rates as listed on CoveredCA site.

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