May 27, 2008

Alert - Watch out for July premium increases


On occasion we feel it is important to notify our customers and association members of important health insurance news. Over the last few days a number of large California insurance carriers have announced their intent to increase premium rates for a number of products, effective July 1st 2008. This in itself is not uncommon, however these new rate increases are uncommonly high and you should prepare yourself for double digit price increases or look at alternative policy offerings from another carrier.

Rate changes come in three different forms. 1) Policy anniversary 2) Statewide company changes which are often mid year or product cycle date. 3) Age change which results in a policy holder entering a new age tier bracket. Over the past several years our clients have experienced a moderate price increase, averaging 7 – 13% annually. The first wave of new premium rate increases that begin July 2008 are alarming. We are seeing increases averaging 45-75%. Very few individuals and families are “lucky” enough to see premium changes below 25%.

Will you be affected?
If you have purchased a new policy in 2008 – you may not see any immediate increases. If your original policy date was 2007 or before, you are likely to receive a rate increase. If your policy “type” is not being offered by the insurance company to new subscribers, you have the greatest chance of being affected by these increases.

You need to protect yourself:
You will need to be proactive and prepare yourself, family or business for the worst case scenario. We suggest that you re-price your current plan online. Select a July 1st effective date and compare your premiums to the rates available to new customers. It only takes 5 minutes
(start here).

If you feel that you are going to get hit with a large premium increase, shop for new insurance products and complete your application today. It may take several weeks to get approved. At
Quotebroker you can instantly shop all California carriers and compare plans, features and rates major California insurance providers. These companies are all competing for your on-line business.

Don’t delay:
The entire underwriting process can average 2 days to 6 weeks. If apply today, you may request a future effective date of June 1st, 15th or 30th. You may also request a July or August date (if you apply in June)

Compare your policy rates against July 1st rate changes
here .