California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones says Anthem Blue Cross should be left out of the new health insurance marketplace for small businesses next year.
Jones says Anthem’s planned premium rate increase for small employers next month is excessive.
He says the Affordable Care Act requires him to evaluate whether insurers are suitable to participate in the new marketplace.
“With three unreasonable rate increases in the first seven months of 2013 alone, I have determined that Anthem has had a pattern or practice of excessive or unjustifiable rate increases,” says Jones.
Anthem Blue Cross says it will be serving individuals statewide in the California exchange next year, and that its rates are affordable.
Covered California estimates up to 200,000 people will be part of the small business marketplace in a few years.
The exchange says it is considering the Insurance Commissioner’s recommendation but will make the final decision about which insurers participate in the new marketplace.