Kaiser lowers rate increases for small businesses

NewsOctober 4, 2011

San Francisco Chronicle:

By Victoria Colliver

Kaiser Permanente has retroactively rolled back rate increases that went into effect for small businesses on July 1 by 1.2 percent.

The welcomed — albeit small — bit of news for thousands of  California enrollees comes after a bit of wrangling with the state regulators.

Kaiser in April had proposed a 10.7 percent rate hikes for the bulk of its small business customers. The state Department of Managed Health Care, armed with a new law that allows them to scrutinize actuarial data behind the rate filings, pushed back.

“We’ve been  concerned about the lack of data they provided to support their trends and we requested they reduce their rates,” said department spokeswoman Lynne Randolph.

The new increase of 9.5 percent translates into a total savings of $13.5 million, Randolph said. “We  believe thousands of people in small businesses are going to benefit from this,” she said. “It shows the rate review process can be effective.”

Read the full blog post in San Francisco Chronicle.