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Blue Shield of Calif. cancels proposed rate hike

A Blue Shield of California building is seen in this file footage.

March 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Blue Shield of California says it's canceling a proposed rate hike.

Blue Shield's chief executive said the company is withdrawing the planned May 1 increase, which would have been the third such rate hike since October, to help keep coverage affordable.

The three increases combined would have raised average rates by 30 percent, though increases for some would have been much greater.

The San Francisco-based nonprofit has said rising HealthCare costs forced the rate hikes.

Blue Shield said Wednesday it lost $27 million on individual policies last year and expects more such losses this year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.