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Anthem Blue Cross Makes Massive Hikes in California Insurance Premiums

San Francisco, CA: Anthem Blue Cross has announced that as of March 1st, 2010, is will raise it health insurance rates by nearly 40 percent, affecting approximately 800,000 customers in California, where the increase will take place.

The rate hikes come on the heels of an announcement by Wellpoint Inc, Anthem's parent company, of an eightfold increase in profits in the last quarter of 2009, that's a reported profit of $2.7 billion for October, November and December alone.

In a letter from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to Anthem Blue Cross president Leslie Margolin, Sebelius states, "These extraordinary increases are up to 15 times faster than inflation and threaten to make health care unaffordable for hundreds of thousands of Californians, many of whom are already struggling to make ends meet in a difficult economy." And, "Your company's strong financial position makes these rate increases even more difficult to understand."

Sebelius also wrote that she will be "closely monitoring the situation," which is now under investigation by the state of California.

The March 1st rate increases are reported to be the largest ever made by Blue Cross for individual policyholders in California.

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