DETROIT -

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan said it's planning its lowest health coverage rate increases for small employers in the past six years.

The insurer said Wednesday the statewide average increase of 4.3 percent will apply for the first three months of next year. The rates apply to what the company calls small group customers.

Blue Cross is the state's largest health insurer. The company said in a news release that it has focused on bringing "dramatically more affordable and flexible products" to the market in the past two years.