via The Sacramento Bee: (emphasis mine)
Roughly 113,000 Californians whose individual health plans were set to expire at the end of the year will be given the option to extend their coverage though the end of March.
Those with individual plans issued by Blue Shield of California Life & Health Insurance Company will be allowed to retain their plans for an extra three months regardless of whether they purchased coverage before the March 2010 passage of the federal health care law – the cutoff for “grandfathered” policies….
Blue Shield had given a three-month notice to 119,000 subscribers that their plans would be withdrawn from the market and replaced with new compliant policies.
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones suggested the cancellations required a six-month warning and threatened legal action if existing policyholders were not allowed to retain their plans until March 30.
Stephen Shivinsky, a spokesman for the company, said it was able to accommodate Jones’ request because the insurance plans in question are regulated by the Department of Insurance….
Blue Shield is mailing letters to 80,000 households informing them of the change and letting them know that they would have to ask to extend their coverage in their current plan.
But as Forbes pointed out at the end of May, when Obamacare’s rates for California policyholders were released, many of those people will then have to face the “sticker shock” of rate increases– 64% to 146% higher than what they are currently paying for their individual health insurance.
There’s also this:
Blue Shield of California is seeking premium increases of as much as 20% for some individual policyholders, the Los Angeles Times reports.
According to filings with state regulators, Blue Shield is proposing an average rate increase of 12% for more than 300,000 individual policyholders, effective in March 2013.
The insurer said it expects to lose money in the individual market next year even with the proposed rate hikes. Officials said that medical costs for the individual market have increased by 10.6%, whilethe amount that the insurer actually pays for individuals is increasing by 12.5%
So– wait… insurance companies aren’t money-grubbing fiends after all? /sarc