DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan says it’s planning its lowest health coverage rate increases for small employers in the past six years.

The insurer announced Wednesday the statewide average increase of 4.3 percent will apply for the first three months of next year. The rates apply to what the company calls small group customers.

The company said in a news release that it has focused on bringing “dramatically more affordable and flexible products” to the market in the past two years.

“This is the second consecutive quarter that Blue Cross has delivered very low rate increases to small employers in Michigan,” said John Dunn, BCBSM vice president for Middle and Small Group Business.

“These moderating trends are coming at just the right time to help Michigan employers grow and succeed, while continuing to provide employees with the health coverage they need.  Our efforts at the Blues to provide more affordable health plan options, promote better health, and work with doctors and hospitals to improve health care quality are collectively making a significant difference in the rates Michigan employers pay for coverage,” he said.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization is the state’s largest health insurer. BCBS provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.3 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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