Anthem premium increase in Maine may be cut, judge says
NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 3, 2010
State regulators may reduce Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Maine's proposed premium increase for individual health plans, a judge has ruled.
Maine Superior Court Judge Thomas Humphrey on April 22 upheld Insurance Superintendent Mila Kofman's decision to reduce a 2009 premium increase by the WellPoint-owned plan down to 10.9% from the requested 18.1%. That increase became effective July 1, 2009.
Anthem, which covers 71% of the state's insured residents, said it needed the 18.1% increase to cover costs and a 3% profit margin. But Humphrey said Maine law does not "expressly entitle insurers to a mandated profit margin."
The company said it was reviewing the decision, and at this article's deadline had not decided whether to appeal. Anthem said in a statement that premium rates need to be sufficient to cover costs and "allow for an adequate risk margin to cover unanticipated costs."
Anthem has requested a 23% increase in premiums for its individual plans beginning in July 2010. That request is pending.
Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/05/03/bibf0503.htm.