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Mass. Blues reaches rate agreement with state

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 16, 2010

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Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick's administration has reached an agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts after months of wrangling over rates for individual and small group customers.

In a settlement announced Aug. 5, the Blues plan agreed to limit rate increases to a maximum of 12.9% for the remainder of the year. The increases are not retroactive for customers who bought or renewed policies between April 1 and Aug. 31.

According to a news release, company President and CEO Bill Van Faasen said the company would accept "less than adequate premium rates" in order to "help move the community beyond the distraction of arbitrary caps on premiums and toward more meaningful and sustainable solutions that will bring real and lasting rate relief to employers and individuals."

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Neighborhood Health Plans also settled with Massachusetts following the state's efforts to cap health insurance rates for individuals and small businesses.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/08/16/bibf0816.htm.

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