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Rate Hike Review

Sacramento, CA — Independent actuaries will review proposed rate hikes by California’s four largest health insurers to make sure they are within legal guidelines.

The Associated Press reports that an independent actuary is currently reviewing proposed increases by both Aetna and Blue Shield. Anthem Blue Cross and Health Net will face future rate reviews.

The four companies are responsible for 90 percent of California’s 2.5 million health policies.

Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner said Wednesday the review was prompted by the state’s discovery that Anthem Blue Cross had attempted to raise rates 50 percent more than state law allows.

Blue Shield is currently seeking rate hikes averaging 18 percent and Aetna hopes to raise rates by an average of 19 percent.

California law mandates that 70 cents of every dollar collected in health insurance premiums to be spent on medical benefits.

Written by bjhansen@mlode.com.