KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Calif. Regulator Calls Aetna Rate Hike ‘Unreasonable’; Ariz. County Raises Premiums For Stealth Smokers

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones used authority, granted under a year-old state law, to call out the rates as unreasonable. In Arizona, Maricopa County raised premiums on hundreds of county workers who either failed a saliva testing for nicotine or refused to take it.

Los Angeles Times: Aetna Raises Health Insurance Rates For Small Employers
Aetna Life Insurance Co. raised health insurance rates for small employers by an average of 8% a year beginning April 1, a hike that California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones called  unreasonable. Jones said Thursday that he'd asked Aetna to withdraw its increase in quarterly rates, affecting 77,000 employees and dependents of small employers (Lifsher, 4/5).

The Wall Street Journal: California Regulator Criticizes Aetna Rate Increase As ‘Unreasonable’.
A California insurance regulator ruled that an Aetna Inc. health-insurance rate increase was “unreasonable,” in the latest salvo of a long-running debate in the state over the cost of coverage (Wilde Mathews, 4/5).

Arizona Republic: Maricopa County Employees Who Fibbed About Smoking To See Hike In Premium
Hundreds of Maricopa County employees caught fibbing to their health insurer about their smoking or who refused nicotine testing will now pay higher health-insurance premiums under a new county policy. As a result, the county will collect an additional $327,360 in health-insurance premiums, with the money going into an employee-benefits fund (Lee, 4/5).

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