Aetna and Wellpoint subsidiary Anthem Blue Cross as well as Blue Shield have agreed to modify their most recent small group health insurance rate increases in California for the third quarter of 2012 for a total savings of $48 million for small employers, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones recently announced.
By far the largest premium rate increase withdrawal was Anthem Blue Cross’s of 2.5% July 1 premium increase for small-group preferred provider organization products, resulting in a total savings of approximately $25 million for 45,000 of Anthem Blue Cross's small group policyholders, covering approximately 280,000 individuals.
Insurers have a history of reducing average increases in California, or delaying them, under Jones. In 2011, Anthem Blue Cross agreed to reduce the average increase to 9.1%, from 9.8%, and to impose the increase July 1, rather than April 1.
Jones insisted early on that large carriers submit proposed individual rate increases to an extra layer of state review, and that they wait at least 60 days after a rate increase takes effect to ask for a new rate increase.