Cox appealing Blue Cross decisions

John O'Brien Feb. 4, 2009, 3:39pm


LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline) - Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox is appealing two circuit court orders that permitted Blue Cross Blue Shield to purchase several for-profit companies.

The health insurance provider, a nonprofit organization, transferred $125 million to a Workers Compensation insurance subsidiary to purchase one of the companies, and Cox believes insurance rates are going up because of it.

"It is one of my responsibilities as attorney general to fight for access to affordable health care for Michigan residents while ensuring that Blue Cross follows the law," Cox said.

"Because Blue Cross' activities are improper and contributing to higher insurance rates for Michigan citizens, I must appeal these decisions.

Last month, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Paula Manderfield dismissed a complaint filed by Cox last year. She also transferred another complaint to the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation.

Those are the decisions Cox is appealing.

Also, in December, Cox called on state legislators to stall legislation sought by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan until the company provides detailed information about its finances.

Blue Cross says it is projected to lose more than $260 million in 2009 and $300 million in 2010. It is seeking legislation that would ban cherry picking by private insurers that currently allow them to reject applicants who are considered too costly to cover because they have pre-existing health problems.

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