Blue Cross of California is raising rates approximately 15 percent for their small group clients effective May 1, 2006. This “focal renewal” effects small group health insurance clients who initially began their Blue Cross medical plan prior to 12/1/2003.

Blue Cross of California is not changing benefits such as co-pays, deductibles, out of pocket maximums or prescription medicine benefits. Essentially, only rates are changing. Some clients with a large number of employees and dependents enrolled in a Blue Cross health plan who have not had major medical claims may receive a lower rate increase. Other groups with significant claims may receive a 20 to 25 percent rate increase. Blue Cross has historically changed rates on the focal renewal only once each year.

As you may expect, other insurance companies, e.g., Health Net of California, Pacificare of California, Blue Shield of California, Aetna and others are offering discounts in an attempt to lure customers away from Blue Cross. Click here if you would like to obtain a quote for small group health insurance in California or call the helpful, fully licensed staff at at (800)746-0045.