WellPoint/Anthem BCBS Decides Not To Be Completely Evil To California Policyholders

Nearly five months ago, Anthem Blue Cross of California and parent company WellPoint put their names in the running for Biggest Dickheads of 2010 by trying to raise rates upward of 39% for individual policyholders, a move that put the entire insurance industry under the legal and legislative microscope. In a move to seem like only a huge dickface, the insurance giant announced yesterday that it’s now proposing less grandiose rate increases.

The average hike for individual policyholders in California will now be around 14%, with peaks of up to 20% for some increases. Compare these numbers to those proposed in February — 25% average increases with some policies being jacked up as much as 39%.

But if you thought the country’s largest insurance provider in terms of policyholders, wasn’t going to whine like a spoiled brat who didn’t get the G.I. Joe with the kung-fu grip for Christmas, you were wrong.

Boo-hoos a really, really well-paid WellPointer:

The rates do not cover our costs and are not going to be sustainable over the long term, but it made sense to move ahead… Given the environment, it was in the best interest of everyone to get this behind us and move forward.

Translation: Ever since we stopped practicing recission on breast cancer patients, we need to milk money from the policyholders who are least-prepared to put up a fight.

WellPoint has already taken in revenues totaling $877 million in just the first quarter of 2010. According to the L.A. Times, that’s a 51% bump from the same quarter in 2009.

Coincidentally, 51% is also the pay increase WellPoint’s CEO received in 2009. She’s now making $13.1 million.

Meanwhile, out in WellPoint’s home state of Indiana, the company says it plans to go ahead with an average rate hike of 21% for individual policyholders.

Perhaps WellPoint needs the extra cash to pay for the credit-monitoring it has to give the 470,000 policyholders whose medical, insurance and credit card information it exposed to online hackers.

WellPoint rolling back California rate increase [IndyStar.com]

Anthem Blue Cross again seeks rate hikes for Californians [L.A. Times]