Hamm disapproves Blue Cross Blue Shield premium rate increase (including timeline and charts)
Posted on 7/18/2008
BISMARCK, N.D.-North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm announced today that he has disapproved a 14.8 percent rate increase request by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBS) for individual policies.
Hamm said several factors influenced the decision, including the reliability of the information provided by BCBS, the lack of complete information provided by BCBS, and state law which requires that a rate be disapproved if the benefits provided are unreasonable in relation to the premium charged.
"Blue Cross Blue Shield did not substantiate this rate increase request, misled the Insurance Department concerning payments to healthcare providers, and stonewalled the department when it sought information. As a result, I denied this request," Hamm said.
Each year, BCBS submits rate increase requests to the Insurance Department, once for group policies and once for individual policies. Approximately 30,000 North Dakotans are covered under individual policies through BCBS. A 14.8 percent increase would have cost policyholders an additional $11.2 million over the next year.
"If you are an individual policyholder, your premiums will not increase because of this decision," Hamm said.
The Insurance Department thoroughly analyzes and approves health insurance rate changes before companies may implement them.