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State Insurance Commissioner Wants To Bar Anthem From Small Business Exchange

Aired 6/13/13 on KPBS News.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said Anthem's pattern of unreasonable rate increases should prevent it from selling policies on the state's small business exchange.

California's insurance commissioner Dave Jones wants to exclude Anthem Blue Cross from Covered California, the state's small business exchange, because of what he calls a pattern of excessive rate hikes.

Dave Jones is California's Insurance Commissioner.
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Above: Dave Jones is California's Insurance Commissioner.

Anthem is imposing a 7.6 percent increase on small business customers on July 1. It's the third rate hike in the last seven months. Within the last year, premiums have risen more than 17 percent.

"It's frustrating for me as the insurance commissioner, it's frustrating for small businesses in California and it's frustrating for individuals and families who are paying time and time again increases that are simply unsustainable," the commissioner said.

Anthem representatives defend the increases. They've said health care costs continue to escalate and that its rates are highly competitive.

Operators of the exchange will make the final decision about whether Anthem will be included in the system.

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