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Insurance Commissioner Says Anthem Rate Increase Unreasonable

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones said a rate increase proposed by Anthem Blue Cross on small employers is unreasonable. He also said the insurer should not charge Affordable Care Act fees in 2013, since the federal government won’t collect that money until 2014.

Anthem’s rate increase would average about ten-point-six percent a year. Jones said it would affect 52,000 members now, but ultimately it would affect nearly a quarter of a million Californians who participate in Anthem’s small group policy.

“Anthem Blue Cross told me that regardless of our conclusion that the rate increase was unreasonable, they were increasing the rates, and they’re free to do so under California law because there is no law that gives the Insurance Commissioner the authority to reject excessive rate hikes,” explained Jones.

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But Anthem Blue Cross said the rate hike reflects rising health care costs and would amount to seven and a half percent a year.

Anthem said that’s comparable to increases sought by other insurers.

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