BCBS Increases Rates for Individuals in Michigan, Pennsylvania
The following summarizes news about BlueCross BlueShield Association plans increasing rates in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
- Michigan: State Attorney General Mike Cox (R) on Thursday filed a petition to stop a proposed rate increase by the not-for-profit Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for more than 400,000 individual policyholders, the Detroit Free Press reports. The average proposed rate hikes would be 56% for non-elderly Michigan residents buying their own insurance; 42% for policyholders with group conversions; and 31% for seniors with Medigap policies. According to BCBS, the rate increases are necessary to counter the growing losses the insurer is experiencing in the individual policy market (Anstett, Detroit Free Press, 5/21). Michigan's Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation has 30 days from June 2 to schedule a hearing on the petition (Rogers, Detroit News, 5/22).
- Pennsylvania: Not-for-profit Independence Blue Cross is seeking to increase rates by 20% to 58% for individuals and families who buy individual health plans, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports (Von Bergen, Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/22). Under the proposal currently before the state Insurance Department, about 30,000 Pennsylvanians would be affected by the increases, including 20,000 Nongroup Personal Choice policyholders; 10,000 Nongroup Special Care Hospital coverage subscribers; and 2,800 Nongroup Basic Blue Cross Hospital coverage policyholders (Warner, Philadelphia Daily News, 5/22). The insurer said the increases are necessary because it is paying out more in claims than it has earned through premiums. The rate increases will go into effect on July 1 if the Pennsylvania insurance commissioner takes no action (Philadelphia Inquirer, 5/22).