News Headlines Article

Feds not buying WellPoint’s price-hike explanation
The Mercury News - Tom Murphy and Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar

Health insurer WellPoint is blaming the recession and rising medical costs for its planned 39 percent rate increase for some California customers of its Anthem Blue Cross plan. But Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius isn’t buying the explanation proffered in a letter delivered to her Thursday. Sebelius said “it remains difficult to understand” how premium increases of that size can be justified when WellPoint reported a $4.75 billion profit in the last quarter of 2009.