Anthem Blue Cross Argues its Case for Higher Rates Earlier Today; “If it weren’t for companies like Anthem, we wouldn’t need national health care reform,” Greg Howard.

Greg Howard, Change That Works:  "If it weren't for companies like this, we wouldn't need national health care reform." By Carol McCracken (Post # 420)

Oral arguments were heard this morning in Portland in a case with important implications for Anthem’s roughly 20,000 individual policy holders in the state. The case is Anthem Health Plans of Maine vs. the Superintendent of Insurance. Anthem is suing the state because it rejected Anthem’s request for a rate hike of about 18 percent in favor of a rate hike closer to 10 percent.

Pierce Atwood attorneys representing Anthem requested that the case be remanded to the Superintendent with “instructions to approve rates that include at least a 3 percent pre-tax profit and risk margin.”

Following the hearing, Chris Dugan, director for corporate communications at Anthem stuck to the company script and said that this line of insurance is “not a profitable line of business. People in good health are dropping their insurance. Overall, Anthem is making money, however.”

Greg Howard, ( upper left photo), communications director for Change That Works said: “What we heard was double speak for double digit rate increases. The state did a great job of protecting Maine’s insured.” He continued: “If it weren’t for companies like Anthem, we wouldn’t need national health care reform.”

The case, Docket No. AP-09-29, was filed in the Consumer and Business Docket in the West Bath office. However, because of an agreement the case was heard in a larger courtroom in Superior Court in Portland. A decision from Judge Humphrey is forthcoming.