Aetna Proceeds With 8% Rate Hikes in California Despite Opposition

Even though California Department of Insurance Commissioner David Jones called Aetna's recent 8 percent health premium increases for small businesses in the state "unreasonable," the health insurer plans to move forward with the rate hikes, according to a Sacramento Bee report.

Mr. Jones said Aetna's decision — the first time a California health insurer has proceeded with a premium hike after the state insurance department deemed it excessive — was "disappointing and frustrating, especially since other health insurers have agreed to refrain from increases," according to the report.

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While the state insurance commissioner can assess the reasonability of health insurance premium raises, he or she does not have the authority to stop the increases.

In response, Aetna said their rate increases were based on "actuarially sound data and reasonable projection of future cost," according to the report. In all, about 16,000 employees at small businesses will see rate increases on their plans later this spring.

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