Aetna Agrees To Reduce Proposed Rate Hike For Individual Health Insurance Policies.

The Los Angeles Times (4/29, Helfand) reports, Aetna has “agreed to scale back insurance rate hikes this year for thousands of customers after postponing the increases for 60 days.” Health insurance rates for “65,000 Californians with individual policies from Aetna Inc. will rise an average of 12.2%, beginning July 1.” Aetna said that “31,000 policyholders” would see their rates change “by the end of September; the remainder will see new rates in the following months.” The increases were reduced from an “average of 17.9% after Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones raised concerns.” The reduction will save Aetna policyholders “$6.7 million in premiums,” a company spokesperson said. Jones noted that the 60-day delay has “saved customers another $1 million.”
The San Francisco Chronicle (4/28, Colliver) “Chron Rx Health” blog reported, “Aetna has agreed to a reduction of their most recent increase, but Californians have experienced unsustainable health insurance increases year after year,” Jones said, “using the opportunity to push for a bill that would give him the authority to reject excessive rate increases.” That bill (AB 52) was “approved by the Assembly Health Committee this week.” Notably, Aetna is the “third major insurer to back off on previously proposed premium increases for individual policyholders.” The other two were Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California.

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