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CA's Anthem Blue Cross reduces rate increases

Los Angeles Times, March 22, 2011

California health insurer Anthem Blue Cross, scaling back rate increases for the second time in less than a year, has agreed to cut nearly in half average increases for more than 500,000 individual policyholders. State officials said California's largest for-profit health insurer would reduce average July 1 increases to 9.1% from 16.4%. Anthem said it also would put on hold until January plans to hike policyholders' deductibles and co-pays for medical services at the same time. Anthem in January had postponed its insurance rate increase for 60 days while California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones examined its filings. Its new rates announced Monday would save customers an estimated $40 million in premiums this year. Last year, Anthem cut its rate increases nearly in half after a planned 39% hike set off a national uproar over the cost of health insurance.

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