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Blue Shield Proposes Higher Premiums in California

Nonprofit insurer Blue Shield of California submitted a proposal to raise rates on individual policyholders by as much as 59 percent beginning March 1.

The San Francisco-based company said the increase was necessary because of rising provider fees, greater use of medical services by its members, and “the fact that healthier people are dropping coverage during a bad economy,” Johnny Wong, a company spokesman, said today in an e-mail.