Officer says Blue Cross rate hike should be lower

LANSING, MI – A hearing officer has denied Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's request to raise rates by more than 30% for some Medicare supplemental policies, calling it

Instead, the officer recommended Friday that Blue Cross increase Medigap rates by less than 4% in February.

Michigan's insurance commissioner is expected to make a final decision in December.

The state attorney general's office fought the proposed 31% rate hike. Attorney General Mike Cox says the recommendation of a smaller rate increase is "great news" and would save $85 million in the first year for 200,000 seniors who buy Blue Cross Medigap insurance to supplement their Medicare coverage.

Blue Cross says it's concerned with the hearing officer's interpretation of a subsidy it's required to pay.