Anthem Health Plans of Maine is planning a 1.7% overall rate increase on its individual policies for the 2012 plan year, which begins July 1. The insurer filed the rate increase with the Maine Bureau of Insurance, but no longer needs the bureau's approval for increases.
The new rates would cover about 11,000 individual policyholders, and rates would vary based on the type of plan, according to the Portland Press Herald. The maximum increase is 18.2% for those over age 60 with a $15,000 deductible, while the largest decrease is 17.5%, though policy details for that change weren't available. The rates would give Anthem a 3% profit margin, according to its filing with the bureau.
A controversial state law passed last year does not require the bureau to approve individual medical insurance rate increase requests as long as the average change is less than 10% and the company agrees to put a certain amount of each premium dollar toward claim payments. The bureau must review all changes, though, to ensure they meet state and federal law.
In the past, the bureau had ruled against Anthem's rate increase requests, decisions the company appealed to Maine's Supreme Judicial Court. The courts, however, sided with the insurance bureau.
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