Cox critical of new legislation

Nick Rees Apr. 2, 2010, 9:32am


LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline) - Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox has raised concerns about state Rep. Marc Corriveau's recently introduced legislation that he says eliminates consumer protections in the health insurance rate-setting process.

Corriveau's legislation, Cox fears, would decimate the current system that he says saved consumers $500 million in 2009.

"Just about a year ago we stopped an attempt by Blue Cross to kill oversight when they set rates on Michigan families," Cox said.

"Today we are once again looking at bills that would allow Blue Cross to raise rates with no attorney general oversight on people already struggling to afford care."

Blue Cross, as part of Corriveau's legislative package, would be allowed to offer new plans that would eliminate the attorney general's office's ability to question rate increases for Michigan residents purchasing their own insurance, which is a rapidly growing portion of the market.

Under the current system of oversight, more than $250 million in rate increases were stopped by Cox's office in 2009 alone, Cox claims.

Cox has said that much of the legislation is usurped by recently passed federal health care legislation but that he will continue to closely monitor the remainder of the bills for the ways that they focus solely on benefiting Blue Cross.

Blue Cross is responsible for approximately 70 percent of Michigan's health care market.

Sen. Tom George recently introduced similar bills to Rep. Corriveau's in the state Senate.

Cox is running for governor.

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