State wants more info on Blues rate request


The state insurance commissioner has denied Blue Cross-Blue Shield permission to raise rates by as much as 15% for people who buy their own health insurance instead of getting coverage through their jobs. But as the Michigan Public Radio Network reports, that is not the final word on the question.

The state Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation is asking Blue Cross for more information before making its final decision. Blue Cross says it will comply with the request for actuarial data and information on medical costs within 10 days. Company officials say they still expect to win approval in time for new rates to take effect October first.

Almost 200,000 people aged 18 to 64 who buy individual coverage from Blue Cross because they don't have employer health benefits. That's the fastest-growing portion of the health insurance market. Blue Cross says it expects to lose as much as $60 million dollars on that business this year. Blue Cross is a not-for-profit charity that, unlike its for-profit competitors, has to provide coverage to everyone who applies regardless of their risk of getting sick.