State regulators have approved rate hikes on individual Anthem Blue Cross health insurance policies after public outrage and government scrutiny halted a larger increase.

The California Department of Insurance said Wednesday it approved a rate increase averaging about 14 percent for Anthem Blue Cross customers. The department also approved a nearly 19 percent increase for Blue Shield of California.

Anthem's rate hike was repeatedly held up by President Barack Obama as an example of a broken health care system in the run up to the vote on the federal health care reform bill. The smaller increase announced Wednesday is expected to save consumers $184 million, said Department of Insurance spokesman Ioannis Kazanis.

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