VIEWS: 11 PAGES: 1 CATEGORY: Health Insurance POSTED ON: 9/17/2010
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.
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 Maine policyholders. "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.
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