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Up to 306,000 Californians with older, individual Anthem health insurance policies — unchanged by Obamacare — are subject to the rate increases.

By Chad Terhune
January 30, 2014, 5:43 p.m.

Thousands of Anthem Blue Cross individual customers with older insurance policies untouched by Obamacare are getting some jarring news: Their premiums are going up as much as 25%.

These increases, 16% on average, are slated to go into effect April 1 for up to 306,000 people — unless California regulators persuade the state’s largest for-profit health insurer to back down.

Amid the fury last fall over canceled health policies, consumer advocates and state officials warned people that holding onto grandfathered policies purchased before the federal healthcare law was enacted in 2010 wouldn’t shield them from significant rate hikes.

Walter and Kathy Warner of Westlake Village are facing a 25% rate increase, for a total of $1,822 per month. Their premiums had already jumped 53% since 2010, not including this latest change.

“I’m fed up with this company,” Walter Warner said. “This degree of increase is unjustified.”

The California Department of Insurance and the state Department of Managed Health Care are reviewing Anthem’s proposed increase, and they are awaiting additional information from the company. Anthem is a unit of WellPoint Inc., the nation’s second-largest health insurer.

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