(SAN FRANCISCO) -- Healthcare provider, Blue Shield of California, agreed Friday to submit to an independent actuarial review of its rates and give refunds to policyholders if the review finds the rates to be unsound. The insurance company's decision comes after concerns were raised regarding rising healthcare rates for individuals.
Nearly 200,000 members of the Blue Shield of California Life and Health Insurance Company received notice that rates would increase on average by 15 percent annually with some members receiving even higher increases.
Blue Shield Chairman and CEO Bruce Bodaken explained in a statement the company's reasons for subjecting its rates to the review, expected to last 30-45 days.
"We regret that our members have received significant rate increases in recent months and want to be absolutely certain that the rates reflect our actual cost of providing medical care." He later continued, "If this independent review finds that the rates are not sound, we will hold our members harmless by refunding the difference with interest."
The review will be administered by Axene Health Partners LLC, which will be "free to confer" with the Department of Insurance to determine if Blue Shield's rates are "excessive, unjustified or unfairly discriminatory."
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