Aetna Hikes Health Insurance Rates For California Small Businesses

Health insurer Aetna has raised its rates for California small business clients considerably, making for an average increase of 8 percent, with some businesses seeing increases of as much as 21 percent. The California State Insurance Commissioner called the hikes “excessive.”

Aetna justified the rate hike, which took effect April 1, to the L.A. Times, saying its rates “are based on actuarially sound data and reasonable projection of future cost.”

In a statement, Aetna pulled out the old “taking it seriously.”

“Aetna takes our commitment to our small-business customers seriously, and we are making every effort to maintain an affordable array of products that provide access to quality healthcare services.”

Despite Aetna’s claims that it profited only 13 cents from every dollar of premiums it took in, the company’s California insurance subsidiary raked in a 27.7 percent profit, which was good enough to funnel dividends of $1.7 billion to the mother ship.

The commissioner is using uproar over the rate increase to rally support for a California ballot measure that would give him the power to reject future health insurance rate changes.

Aetna rate hike is deemed ‘excessive’ by California regulator [L.A. Times]