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Calif. insurance chief criticizes Anthem rate hike

Posted: January 8, 2013 2:25 p.m.
Updated: January 8, 2013 2:25 p.m.

State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones calls for Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Co., to reduce it's planned rate increase on small group major medical policyholders.

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says a rate hike proposed by Anthem Blue Cross for some of the insurer's small-group members is unreasonable, but the insurer says it reflects the rising cost of health care.

During a news conference Tuesday, Jones said he has no authority to stop the rate increases, which will take effect this month. He says the increase will average 10.6 percent a year.

Anthem spokesman Darrel Ng (eng) disputes that, saying the annual increase is closer to 7.5 percent and is comparable to those sought by the company's competitors.

The rate hike initially will affect 52,000 people, out of the 250,000 in California who participate in Anthem's insurance policy for small businesses.

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