Health Insurance Premiums for Family and Individual
About 100 people attended a public hearing at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland on
Monday night in response to a request made by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield and MEGA Life and
Health Insurance Co. to increase premiums by more than 20 percent for individual policies.
"Health care costs, medical inflation and the amount of health care we use really (are) driving the
premiums. Profit really isn't a piece of that. It really is the health care cost that's driving the health care
premiums," Anthem spokesman Chris Dugan said.
At nearly 73 years old, Dr. Stephen Sokol still practices medicine. He told state insurance regulators that
he has major concerns about Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield's proposed 23 percent rate increase for
"I want to clarify something here today: I am a health-care provider. Anthem is not a health-care
provider," Sokol said. "We are seeing patients who are discharged much too early from the hospital
because their insurance will not cover them any further."
"It's going to hurt the people in Maine who are most vulnerable. It's going to hurt the lobstermen, it's
going to hurt the small business people, it's going to hurt the individuals hanging on by their fingernails,"
said Lee Robertson, an Anthem policyholder.
The average cost of a family policy offered by employers nationally increased 22.9 percent in the past
five years, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Karen Ignagni, president of the industry group America's Health Insurance Plans, said the portion of
premiums that goes to administrative costs and profits has gone down. "Health insurance premiums are
increasing in the individual.