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Small Companies Seeking Caps On Premiums

Small-business owners in Michigan have released a survey that they hope will prompt legislation to prevent some health insurers from — in the business owners' words — "overpricing" policies.

According to a random survey of 300 small-business owners, 25 percent think rising premiums threaten their ability to stay in business.

The Small Business Association of Michigan likes legislation to require insurers to rate small businesses by employee age, gender, health status, and job — and then to set premiums accordingly.

Such changes would benefit Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan, which insured 71 percent of the market for companies of 100 or fewer workers — but lost $400 million doing it. The insurer can offer only one community rate and is required by law to take all comers.

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