Anthem Reduces HealthChoice Rate Request
Updated Medical Claims Data Results in One-Third Reduction in Rate Request
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine announced today it has revised downward its HealthChoice rate request from an average increase of 18.6 percent to 13.3 percent as a result of updated medical claims experience. The rate request, which is for the individual health insurance market, is currently before Maine’s Bureau of Insurance.
“We based our original rate request on medical claims data available at the time of the filing which was over two months ago,” said Bill Whitmore, director of Maine pricing. “We continually review our medical claims data and can report that those claims have eased significantly since August.” Whitmore said that the original filing used claims data through April and the updated filing was based on an additional three months of actual claims through July. “The reduction in medical claims payments is good news and has allowed us to decrease this request by 34 percent,” said Whitmore.
The proposed average HealthChoice rate increase of 13.3 percent is driven by three factors: the increasing cost of medical services, the increased use of those services by HealthChoice members and Maine insurance laws.
"While we are pleased that we have been able to reduce this year's rate request, as we have said many times, the individual health insurance market in Maine is broken and deteriorating rapidly," said Whitmore. "The rate increases of the past few years have forced many people to drop coverage and nearly a third of our individual members are paying annual deductibles of $15,000. We need to reform our insurance laws to make individual coverage more available and affordable, just as many other states already have done."
Whitmore noted that Anthem is one of only two major insurers left in Maine offering comprehensive insurance coverage in the individual market. The company has established a web site at www.fixinsuranceforme.com
with more information about Maine insurance reform for the individual market.
About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine is an operating subsidiary of WellPoint Inc., whose mission is to improve the lives of the people it serves and the health of its communities. It is the largest health benefits company in terms of commercial membership in the United States. Through its nationwide networks, the company delivers a number of leading health benefit solutions through a broad portfolio of integrated health care plans and related services, along with a wide range of specialty products such as life and disability insurance benefits, pharmacy benefit management, dental, vision, behavioral health benefit services, as well as long term care insurance and flexible spending accounts. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, it is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), Wisconsin; and through UniCare.
For more information on Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine, please visit www.anthem.com and choose “Maine.”