Anthem, Blue Shield, Aetna reduce rates for small groups

Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield Life and Health and Aetna all have agreed to reduce their rate increases for small group policies that went into effect this month.

The decisions, which came at the request of the California insurance commissioner, means that thousands of small businesses throughout the state will save a collective $48 million, reported the Los Angeles Times.

"Lowering health insurance costs for small employers has been and will continue to be a top priority for me," Commissioner Dave Jones said in a statement. "I appreciate Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield and Aetna's response to my request that they lower their proposed July 1 rate increases on small employers."

Anthem Blue Cross reduced its premium increase by 2.5 percent for its small group preferred provider organization products, leading to a savings of $25 million for roughly 280,000 individuals. Blue Shield will credit 58,000 small employers, which amounts to reducing its rate hike by 1.5 percent and a $15 million savings, and Aetna lowered its proposed small group rate by 1.3 percent for about 69,000 individuals, resulting in about $8 million in savings, LifeHealthPro reported.

To learn more:
- read the Los Angeles Times article
- see the LifeHealthPro article
- check out the California commissioner statement

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