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News: 2011 Press Release

For Release: July 11, 2011
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Insurance Commissioner Jones Announces Decrease in Proposed Health Insurance Rates by Aetna

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced today that Aetna has agreed to reduce its July 1st small group filing rate from a 4 percent quarterly increase to 1.1 percent - this change results in a 13.7 percent annual increase for the approximately 94,000 policyholders who are members of this plan. This rate reduction will save policyholders who renew in July, August and September $2.5 million over the next 12 months and will similarly impact the rates of those who renew in the fourth quarter of this year and the first two quarters of next year.

"We are pleased that Aetna has agreed to lower their proposed rates. This will benefit small business owners who will experience some reduction in their most recent health insurance premium increases. Many small business owners struggle to continue providing health insurance coverage to employees and their families as premium increases outpace the rate of medical inflation," explained Commissioner Dave Jones.

Earlier this month, the Senate Health Committee passed AB 52, which would give the Insurance Commissioner the authority to reject excessive rate increases. Currently, the Commissioner lacks this authority and his only remedy when health insurance rate increases are excessive is to post this information on the Department's website.

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The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California, regulating the $123 billion insurance marketplace. In 2013 the California Department of Insurance received more than 170,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $63 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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