Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsBlue Shield
IN THE NEWS

Blue Shield

FEATURED ARTICLES
BUSINESS
March 12, 2011
Health insurer Blue Shield of California has sought an average 30% increase in individual policies over seven months. Of the 193,800 affected individual policies, here is the breakdown of premium changes. Decreases As low as -2.8%: 1,100 No change: 2,200 Increases Up to 14%: 24,000 15% to 29%: 61,000 30% to 39%: 30,000 40% to 49%: 30,000 50% to 59%: 33,000 60% to 69%: 9,000 70% to 79%: 2,600 80% to 86.5%: 900 Source: Blue Shield of California
ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
April 21, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
With open enrollment for Obamacare wrapped up, insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross stayed ahead of the pack in California sign-ups and widened its lead over rival Blue Shield of California. Anthem signed up 425,058 people through April 15, or 30.5% of Covered California's exchange market under the Affordable Care Act, new data show. Anthem is a unit of Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., the nation's second-largest health insurer. San Francisco insurer Blue Shield of California trails Anthem with a 27.3% share, or 381,457 enrollees.
Advertisement
OPINION
June 8, 2011
Blue Shield of California announced Tuesday that it will cap its profits for the sake of making health insurance more affordable. Richer in symbolism than in economic impact, the move seems designed to deflect scrutiny and blame from insurers onto others in the industry, particularly doctors and hospitals. All the same, the steadily rising cost of medical care is where the real challenge lies for the sustainability of the healthcare system. Blue Shield Chief Executive Bruce Bodaken said the company is limiting its annual income — the difference between its total revenue and its expenses — to 2% of its revenue.
BUSINESS
April 21, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
With open enrollment for Obamacare wrapped up, insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross stayed ahead of the pack in California and widened its lead over rival Blue Shield of California. Anthem signed up 425,058 people through April 15, or 30% of Covered California's exchange market under the Affordable Care Act, new data show. Anthem is a unit of Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., the nation's second-largest health insurer. San Francisco insurer Blue Shield of California trails Anthem with a 27% share, or 381,457 enrollees.
OPINION
January 12, 2011
In another sign of dysfunction in the U.S. healthcare system, Blue Shield of California has levied three rate increases in rapid succession that could raise some premiums as much as 59%. New state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has said he plans to scrutinize the increases, and that's a good thing, given that Anthem Blue Cross sought a huge increase in premiums last year based on faulty math. But Blue Shield's request also highlights why the country should stay the course on healthcare reform.
BUSINESS
August 10, 2012 | By Chad Terhune
Nonprofit insurer Blue Shield of California said it resolved a lengthy contract dispute with UCLA and other UC system hospitals over reimbursements for patient care. Effective Sept. 1, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital will be back in the Blue Shield network. The San Francisco health insurer said this new contract with all UC providers statewide runs through June 30, 2015. The previous contract expired Dec. 31 as the two sides bickered over rising medical costs.
BUSINESS
January 31, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher
A major health insurance company has settled an enforcement action with state regulators over payments for special therapy for autism patients. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones on Tuesday announced that Blue Shield of California Life and Health Insurance Co. agreed to immediately cover the cost of applied behavior analysis therapy, which Jones described as a well-recognized and effective treatment. The settlement stems from a dispute that began last July when Jones filed an enforcement action against Blue Shield.
BUSINESS
March 7, 2013 | By Chad Terhune, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
For the second time in two days, a state regulator criticized Blue Shield of California for an "unreasonable" rate hike affecting tens of thousands of individual policyholders. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said Thursday that the nonprofit health insurer's latest rate hike of as much as 20% for about 268,000 individual policyholders was excessive. But he and other state officials don't have the authority to reject changes in premiums. Jones said he asked Blue Shield to impose a smaller increase that would have saved policyholders an estimated $16.5 million.
BUSINESS
January 7, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones criticized Blue Shield of California for an "unreasonable" rate hike affecting about 81,000 individual policyholders. Tuesday, Jones said the nonprofit health insurer's 10% average increase effective Jan. 1 was excessive. But he and other state officials don't have the authority to reject changes in premiums. Jones said the latest rate hike amounted to an average increase of 32% over a two-year period. "We have heard from Californians time and time again about how painful it is to pay these rate increases," Jones said.
BUSINESS
February 1, 2012 | By Marc Lifsher, Los Angeles Times
A major health insurance company has settled an enforcement action with state regulators over providing special therapy for autism patients. California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones on Tuesday said that Blue Shield of California Life & Health Insurance Co. agreed to immediately cover the cost of applied behavior analysis therapy, which Jones described as a well-recognized and effective treatment. The settlement with the Insurance Department stems from a dispute that began in July when Jones filed an enforcement action against Blue Shield.
BUSINESS
March 30, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
After months of head counts for Obamacare, it is the medical bills that will start to matter now. Even before enrollment closes Monday, California has far exceeded its initial goals for signing up people under the Affordable Care Act. Although the sheer volume of 1.1 million policyholders is impressive for a brand new government program, the number of sicker patients is what's likely to draw the most attention. How sick they are and the size of their medical bills will be front and center in the weeks to come as insurers begin drawing up next year's insurance rates, which will become public this summer.
BUSINESS
March 10, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
For the seventh consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente ranked highest in customer satisfaction for health insurance among California policyholders, according to ratings firm J.D. Power & Associates. But two other major rivals -- Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross -- scored the lowest on member satisfaction among seven California health plans. In its annual survey, J.D. Power surveyed more than 34,000 customers of 136 commercial health plans in December and January in 18 regions across the country.
BUSINESS
February 20, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
Insurance giant Anthem Blue Cross stretched its lead over rival Blue Shield of California in the state's healthcare-coverage exchange, new data show. Anthem signed up 223,630 people through Jan. 31, or 31% of California's exchange market as part of the healthcare law. Anthem is a unit of Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., the nation's second-largest health insurer. San Francisco insurer Blue Shield of California trails Anthem with a 29% share or 213,646 enrollees. Kaiser Permanente, the state's biggest HMO, is third with 131,448 exchange customers, an 18% share.
BUSINESS
January 19, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
The gig: As chief executive of Blue Shield of California, Paul Markovich leads one of the country's largest nonprofit health insurers, and he is a major player in the state's rollout of Obamacare. Dakota days: Markovich, 46, grew up in Grand Forks, N.D., the son of two professors at the University of North Dakota. His father taught political science, and his mother lectured on economics and finance. Much of his childhood was spent skating at the local hockey rink. His first jobs included serving as a hockey camp counselor and refereeing youth hockey games.
BUSINESS
January 15, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
Amid further delays for consumers, California's two largest health insurers extended payment deadlines once more for people who signed up for Jan. 1 coverage through the Covered California exchange. Anthem Blue Cross, a unit of industry giant WellPoint Inc., said it is giving new enrollees until Jan. 31 to pay their first month's premium. Kaiser Permanente, the state's largest HMO, extended the deadline to Jan. 22. Wednesday remains the official deadline for other policies purchased through the Covered California exchange, but its 11 insurers are free to grant extra time, and customers are urged to check with their specific health plan.
BUSINESS
January 7, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
Blue Shield of California said it has agreed to acquire GemCare Health Plan, expanding its presence in Kern County and the Central Coast area. Blue Shield, one of the state's largest health insurers, said Tuesday that GemCare customers should see minimal changes at first. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed. GemCare, based in Bakersfield, is owned by hospital chain Dignity Health and the physicians of GemCare IPA. Blue Shield said the deal would enable it to grow its overall membership and provider networks as well as add Medicare patients in Kern, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties for the first time.
BUSINESS
October 30, 2012 | By Chad Terhune
Health insurer Blue Shield of California said it will return $50 million to customers by year-end as part of its pledge to limit its annual profit. The San Francisco company said most customers will receive a credit on their December bill. It said the average credit for an individual customer will be about $25 and roughly $75 for a family of four, depending on their premiums. For most employers, the company said the average credit will be about $40 per employee. After receiving criticism for hefty rate hikes, Blue Shield announced last year it would begin issuing credits to customers if its net income exceeded 2% of revenue.
BUSINESS
May 23, 2012 | By Chad Terhune
Blue Shield of California's longtime chairman and chief executive, Bruce Bodaken, is stepping down at the end of this year, punctuating a career marked by praise for his early support of universal health coverage and later scorn for his company's big rate hikes and his generous compensation. Bodaken is expected to relinquish his posts as chairman and chief executive at the end of December, according to a person familiar with the company's plans. Paul Markovich, currently the chief operating officer at the nonprofit health insurer, will succeed Bodaken as chief executive.
BUSINESS
January 7, 2014 | By Chad Terhune
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones criticized Blue Shield of California for an "unreasonable" rate hike affecting about 81,000 individual policyholders. Tuesday, Jones said the nonprofit health insurer's 10% average increase effective Jan. 1 was excessive. But he and other state officials don't have the authority to reject changes in premiums. Jones said the latest rate hike amounted to an average increase of 32% over a two-year period. "We have heard from Californians time and time again about how painful it is to pay these rate increases," Jones said.
BUSINESS
December 27, 2013 | By Chad Terhune
After a slow start, Molina Healthcare Inc. is looking for bigger enrollment in California's health insurance exchange in the next three months. The publicly traded company based in Long Beach had only 521 enrollees in the Covered California exchange, or less than 1% market share, through Nov. 30. Molina has traditionally served patients enrolled in Medicaid and other government programs, so its presence on nine state exchanges across the country...
Los Angeles Times Articles
|