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Anthem Blue Cross allowed to move ahead with rate hikes

August 25, 2010 |  1:39 pm

California insurance regulators cleared the way Wednesday for Anthem Blue Cross to implement scaled-back rate hikes after a previous rate increase was canceled amid an uproar over its size.

Anthem said it intends to put the new rates -- averaging 14% and as high as 20% -- into effect Oct. 1 for nearly 800,000 individual California policyholders.

The Woodland Hills company backed off its initial plan to increase premiums in March as much as 39% after consumers, regulators, lawmakers and even President Obama criticized it. Insurance regulators say the six-month delay saved policyholders $180 million. Anthem is the state’s largest for-profit insurer.

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-- Duke Helfand