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Consumers were shocked when insurance giant WellPoint hiked rates in Colorado this year on its Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield individual-market policies by more than 20 percent. More shocking, perhaps, is that those rates may be perfectly in line, given the way medical prices are rising, according to consumer advocates. State regulators say Coloradans won't learn whether the rates were fair or not, much less win relief, for months or longer.
As Washington again debated health reform last week, Coloradans enrolled in insurance giant WellPoint's Anthem individual group plan reeled from a 19.9 percent rate hike. Indianapolis-based WellPoint levied the double-digit increase here quietly in January, without a sound from Colorado lawmakers. A state insurance commissioner told the Independent he was unsurprised by the increase and "signed off" on it back in September.