Blue Shield of California to Cut Many Premiums 2.5% This Year

Health insurer Blue Shield of California, under fire for a series of recent rate hikes and the pay of its chief executive, plans to cut this year’s premiums by 2.5% for many of its 3.3 million policyholders as part of a new initiative to hold down costs. The nonprofit insurer, with about 10% of the California market, said the rate reduction would be applied to bills in October, resulting in $167 million in savings for nearly 2 million customers. Consumer advocates said Blue Shield’s announcement Tuesday may have been prompted by increased regulatory scrutiny. In March, the company canceled the last of three rate increases in seven months for individual policyholders amid pressure from customers and California’s insurance commissioner.

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