LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones Thursday called recent rate increases by Blue Shield of California “unreasonable.”

According to a March 1 filing, the company raised annual rates on individual major medical policyholders by as much as 19.9 percent, the California Department of Insurance said in a statement.

Jones asked Blue Shield of California Life and Health Insurance Company to reduce its rates and save policyholders up to $16.5 million, but the company denied his request.

By law, it is not required to comply.

At Jones’ Thursday morning press conference, he was joined by policyholders whose monthly rates increased to as much as $837.

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