Anthem Backs Off of Some Rate Hikes

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Anthem Blue Cross, the largest health plan in California, is reducing and delaying rate hikes - moves the state insurance commissioner says will save policyholders at least $40 million.

Anthem announced Monday that it will put off a planned April premium hike until July, and increases in deductibles and co-payments until next January.

Anthem also says it's reducing the planned premium increase from 9.8 percent to 9.1 percent.

State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says when the co-pays and other increases are added in, Anthem's 600,000 policyholders would have found themselves paying 16.4 percent more in the middle of the year and some might have been forced to put off treatment.

The commissioner can't deny rate hikes, but Jones says Blue Shield, Aetna and PacifiCare also have agreed to delays.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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