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Anthem Rate Hearing Should Be Delayed Or Denied, CT AG Blumenthal Says

Source: The Hartford Courant

Posted on 16 Nov 2010

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Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said Monday that Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the state's largest health insurer, hasn't provided enough information to justify a proposed 20 percent increase in premiums to some of its plans.

As a result, Blumenthal filed a motion with the state Insurance Department saying the agency "must obtain" critical and relevant information to conduct an analysis of the proposed premiums for Anthem's customers. The proposed 20 percent hike is for some plans sold on the individual market, not group plans offered through employers.

The attorney general's office said Anthem hasn't given its methodology for projecting higher medical costs and hasn't provided the state with historical costs among each insurance policy type. Blumenthal's office also Anthem hasn't said how much of its premiums dollars are allocated to surplus or the dividends it pays to its parent company, WellPoint.

"This public hearing will be a mirage without critical data on this massive 20-percent rate hike," Blumenthal said. "The Insurance Department must delay or deny this rate increase until it can properly review and analyze all the facts."

Blumenthal said the Insurance Department should demand the following from Anthem:

* Unit cost, utilization and pure premium data for each of the policy forms;
* Trend estimates for each of the policy forms and the methodology used to generate those estimates;
* Specific contribution from subscribers' premiums to operating margin by policy and age tier;
* Board-level or committee-level documentation regarding the target surplus levels or ranges;
* Projections for the amount of dividends to the parent company for 2010 and 2011 and documentation on which the projected amount is based.