(Bloomberg) -- WellPoint Inc., the second-biggest U.S. health insurer, said more small employers are scaling back benefits this year, a potential hedge against higher costs expected under the U.S. health care law.

While small businesses have been cutting back for years, the pace has quickened in 2013, WellPoint Chief Financial Officer Wayne DeVeydt said in a phone interview. Fewer individuals are buying plans outside of work as well, possibly because they expect a better deal when the law’s insurance subsidies debut in January, he said.

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