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Health care law may send insurance premiums up for 11 million workers, government report says

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The new health care law may raise insurance premiums for 11 million small business employees and lower rates for 6 million others.

That's an estimate from a report by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The report says higher rates are partly due to the law's requirement that premiums can no longer be based on a person's age. That has sent premiums higher for younger workers, and lower for older ones.

The estimate is far from certain, partly because many small businesses renewed their policies in 2013. Renewing before the end of the year allowed them to avoid higher premiums that went into effect Jan. 1, when coverage was required to conform to the law.

Also limiting the certainty of the estimate is the fact that the report looks at three specific provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Employers' decisions will be based on more factors, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

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