Cox secures $160 million savings for consumers

Ashley Stinnett Aug. 11, 2009, 7:36pm

Mike Cox (R)

LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline) - Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox has secured $160 million in savings for state residents, as a result of stopping a rate hike request by the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan program.

In January, BCBSM had requested a rate hike of 56 percent for non-group rates, or individuals who buy their own insurance, and a 41 percent increase for group conversion, or individuals moving from an employer based plan to buying their own, according to Cox.

During a state hearing, officials with the Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation predicted BCBSM could only go as high as 54 percent for non-group and 37 percent for group conversion.

Cox argued the medical program should have utilized a large surplus it had left over rather than impose rate hikes on consumers.

As a result of the Republican attorney general's intervention, BCBSM has agreed to reduce its non-group and group conversion rate hike down to 22 percent, which will result in $160 million saved for approximately 163,000 residents, according to Cox.

Blue Cross' rate hike proposals would have knocked untold numbers of families into the ranks of the uninsured," Cox said.

BCBSM is seeking a 31 percent rate increase Medigap rates, which affect more than 210,000 Michigan seniors, according to Cox.
The next scheduled hearing is set for September 14.

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