LOS ANGELES (AP) — For the second time this year, Blue Shield of California is facing scrutiny from a state regulator on double-digit rate hikes for individual health insurance policyholders.

The state's Department of Managed Health Care is asking Blue Shield, one of the state's biggest insurers, to explain why 70,000 individual policyholders are facing average rate increases of 37.5 percent, cumulatively, in two hikes since Oct. 1.

Last month, the state's other insurance regulator, the Department of Insurance, questioned Blue Shield about hikes faced by 200,000 other individual policyholders who were facing three hikes that could have increased rates as much as 86.5 percent, cumulatively.

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