In Michigan
5:11 pm
Fri May 21, 2010

MI Blue Cross Blue Shield requests rate hike

LANSING, MI –

Blue Cross-Blue Shield of Michigan wants permission from state regulators to hike rates for individual subscribers under the age of 65. The insurer of last resort says it's losing too much money at current rates to be sustainable.

Andy Hetzel is with Blue Cross Blue Shield. He says federal health care reform will help ease some of the financial burden placed on non-profit insurers. But that change won't come for a few years.

"In the mean time Michigan will be dealing with a broken and dysfunctional regulatory system that allows commercial carriers to reject people for virtually any reason, and only one carrier to accept those folks that's driving up the cost of coverage for people who get it from Blue Cross," he says. "And only the state Legislature can repair that between now and 2014 when the federal legislation takes effect."

Hetzel says the rate increase requested by Blue Cross Blue Shield won't be enough so cover costs, but the group wants to keep plans affordable for people.