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Aetna rate hike is deemed 'excessive' by California regulator - latimes.com -
April 5, 2012
"SACRAMENTO — Aetna, the state's third-largest health insurance company, is raising rates for thousands of small-business customers to a level that state insurance regulators call "excessive." California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones on Thursday criticized Aetna Life Insurance Co. of Hartford, Conn., for raising health insurance group rates by an average of 8% a year for about 77,000 employees of small companies. The rate increases, which took effect April 1, were as high as 21% in some cases, Jones said. Also California seeks limits on small-business self-insurance trend California seeks limits on small-business self-insurance trend Anthem Blue Cross to cut rate hikes for some California customers Anthem Blue Cross to cut rate hikes for some California customers California health insurers and doctors attack rate-control proposal California health insurers and doctors attack rate-control proposal Ads by Google Aetna countered that its rates "are based on actuarially sound data and reasonable projection of future cost, which will impact approximately 16,000 customers." Jones' questioning of the Aetna rates is the first time a commissioner has publicly declared rates unreasonable or excessive. Jones used the opportunity to also restate his support for a proposed statewide ballot initiative that would give him the same power to approve or reject changes in health insurance rates that he has for automobile, homeowners and other types of property and casualty insurance. "I am disappointed that Aetna has decided to reject my request to refrain from its latest health insurance rate increases on small employers, which are unreasonable and not justified by the company's claims experiences," Jones said. "Like the recent unsustainable rate increases imposed by other health insurers on Californians," he said, "Aetna's rate increase proves again that we need to close the loophole in California law which denies the insurance commissioner the authority to reject excessive...
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