RateWatch: Michigan Judge Halts Blue Cross Rate Increase

November 18, 2010

A circuit court judge in Ingham County, Michigan has called a stop to Blue Cross Blue Shield’s planned rate increases there. The increases in question would have increased the cost of premiums by up to 66% for some senior citizens.

The preliminary injunction, which was filed on Tuesday, requires that a public meeting be held.

Last September, the Michigan attorney general’s office filed a lawsuit against Blue Cross and a state regulator, claiming that a hearing should have been held by the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation.

According to state officials, 8,000 – 9,000 polices out of about 200,000 existing Blue Cross Blue Shield Medigap policies are affected by this decision.

Spokespeople for Blue Cross and the regulator said that the rate changes resulted from the elimination of a discount on Medigap policies for people who either reside outside of Michigan, or get help from their employers in purchasing coverage.

Blue Cross also said they were ordered to end the discounts.