State Insurance Commissioner Calls Anthem Blue Cross’ Rate Hikes ‘Unreasonable’

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(credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

(credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

CBS Los Angeles (con't)

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LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is accusing Anthem Blue Cross of placing an “unreasonable” rate increase on small businesses.

Jones, who says Anthem’s small business customers are facing an average annual increase of 10.6 percent each year, doesn’t have the legal authority to reject excess rate hikes.

However, a measure that’s qualified for the Nov. 2014 ballot may change that.

Anthem spokesmen Darrel Ng says the rate increase is actually closer to 6.5 percent. If changes and benefits are included, the number is 7.5 percent.

“We find no basis in mathematics for his numbers,” Ing told KNX1070.

Jones accuses Anthem of unlawfully charging for fees that will not be collected until next year under the Affordable Care Act.

Ng says the fees only apply to contracts that extend to 2014. The increase is pro-rated over 12 months.

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