Bureau of Insurance to Hold Second Public Comment Session in Orono

Superintendent to hear further comment at University of Maine Orono on April 5

Augusta, Maine – Insurance Superintendent Mila Kofman has announced that the Bureau of Insurance will hold an additional public comment session on April 5 in Orono regarding rate filings for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield individual products.

In addition to the public hearing scheduled for April 12, Superintendent Kofman held public comment sessions in Orono and Portland earlier this month.  Two more public comment sessions are scheduled for April – the first at the University of Maine Orono on April 5 and the second in Gardiner at the Bureau offices on April 11.  Public comment will be accepted for the proposed rate increases at the following dates, times and locations:

April 5, 5 – 7 p.m.
102 Murray Hall
University of Maine
Orono, Maine

April 11, 4 – 6 p.m.
Androscoggin Room
Department of Professional and Financial Regulation
Gardiner Annex
76 Northern Ave.
Gardiner
, Maine

Prior to public comment sessions, Bureau of Insurance staff will provide a brief overview of the rate review process for any consumers who have questions.  The presentations will begin thirty minutes before the start of the comment sessions.

Members of the public are also invited to attend a public hearing and provide comments if unable to attend the public comment sessions.  The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. on April 12 and, if necessary, continue on April 13.

April 12, beginning at 9 a.m. – Public Hearing
Kennebec Room
Department of Professional and Financial Regulation
Gardiner Annex
76 Northern Ave.
Gardiner
, Maine

Written comments can be submitted for consideration by the Superintendent of Insurance through U.S. Postal mail or e-mail:

Mail: Superintendent of Insurance
Attn: Sarah Hewett (INS-11-1000)
34 State House Station
Augusta , Maine 04333

E-mail: sarah.hewett@maine.gov

Staff members from the Bureau of Insurance will be available at the public events to assist consumers with any other insurance matters. General insurance materials will be available and staff will answer questions.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield filed a proposed rate adjustment for its HealthChoice, HealthChoice Standard & Basic, Lumenos, HMO and HealthChoice HDHP products on Jan. 28, 2011, to become effective July 1, 2011.  In its amended filing submitted on Feb. 7, 2011, Anthem proposed an average increase of 9.7 percent.  As of Dec. 31, 2010, there are approximately 11,000 policyholders who will be affected by the proposed rate revisions.

Proposed increases by product are as follows:

Insurance Product % increase Number of Policyholders 

1/28/2011

Average Number of Policyholders for 12 months ending 9/30/2010 

HealthChoice $150 – $2,250 6.5% – 9.4% 8561 

926
HealthChoice $5,000-$15,000 10.4% – 10.5% 7,798
Indemnity Standard and Basic 0% 104
Lumenos HIA 7.6% – 10.4% 1,454 1,797
HMO Standard and Basic 10.4% 9 10
HealthChoice HDHP 8.2% – 19% 427 482
Total 10,451 11,117

Fewer than 25 consumers may face a total increase of 48.4 percent based on a change in age.  The change would impact consumers who move from the under-40 age band to the 40-54 age band.

The Bureau of Insurance is part of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation which encourages sound ethical business practices through high quality, impartial and efficient regulation of insurers, financial institutions, creditors, investment providers, and numerous professions and occupations for the purpose of protecting the citizens of Maine. Consumers can reach the Bureau through its website at www.maine.gov/insurance; by calling 800-300-5000 in state; or by writing to Bureau of Insurance, 34 State House Station, Augusta ME 04333.

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