LA Times: Anthem’s Obamacare rates to increase less than 10% in California

 In the strongest indication yet where Obamacare rates are headed, industry giant Anthem Blue Cross said its California premiums for individual coverage will increase less than 10% on average next year.

Health insurance rates in California during the initial rollout of the Affordable Care Act were better than expected, helping boost enrollment to 1.4 million people in the Covered California exchange.

But Anthem and some other insurers across the country had previously predicted double-digit rate hikes in 2015 that could hamper future enrollment and renewals when sign-ups start again in November.

In a speech Thursday at Town Hall Los Angeles, however, Anthem Blue Cross President Mark Morgan said Californians would fare better than that. He said the age and projected medical costs of new enrollees are in line with the company’s expectations thus far.

“We will not have double-digit increases in our Covered California operations,” Morgan said in his speech. “That’s a good indication of how we feel about the success of our early work, because there are other parts of the country where we are hearing 20% and higher.”

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