The Detroit News, July 13, 2011

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s small business customers with up to 49 employees who renew insurance policies this fall will see average rate increases of 7.4%, the insurer said Tuesday. The rate hike is the lowest increase in six years for the Blues and less than last fall’s average 13.1% jump. “By introducing new products, improving cost controls through our innovative partnerships with doctors and hospitals to improve quality and efficiency, and driving administrative savings, we were able to effectively lower our rate increases,” John Dunn, vice president of middle and small group sales at Blue Cross, said in a statement. Many small business customers last year faced 15% to 20% rate hikes, said Karl Albrecht, president of Action Benefits in Southfield, which provides support to health insurance agents who work with small businesses.

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