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News: 2013 Press Release

For Release: July 20, 2013
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Anthem Blue Cross announces withdrawal of small business exchange bid confronted with CA insurance commissioner recommendation it be excluded due to repeated unreasonable rate increases on California small business
Anthem remains in small group market outside Exchange--giving businesses options and insurance market competition

"Last month I recommended that Anthem Blue Cross of California be excluded from California's small business health insurance exchange because of its pattern of excessive and unjustified rate increases on California small businesses. This recommendation was made pursuant to The Affordable Care Act, which directs Insurance Commissioners to determine if a pattern of excessive or unjustified rate increases exists such that a health insurer should be denied access to the state health insurance exchange."

To avoid being excluded or to avoid further public debate or scrutiny about its rates, Anthem announced yesterday that it is dropping its bid to participate in California's small business health insurance benefit exchange. Unlike United Healthcare and Aetna, which pulled out of California's individual health insurance market entirely, Anthem will continue selling in the small group health insurance market in California outside the exchange, so there is no impact on choice or competition in the small group market overall. It does mean that Anthem will not have access to federal tax credit and taxpayer subsidized business in the small group market exchange, which is as it should be given Anthem's pattern of unreasonable rate increases."

                                                                                                 Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones


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 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.