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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Releases Letter Sent to Congressmen John Dingell and Sander Levin
Date:8/21/2009

exceed premiums collected for these individuals. These rate increases in the individual market underscore the urgent need for health insurance reform in Michigan and the nation. We strongly encourage our Michigan Congressional delegation to take strong action in Washington to level the playing field in Michigan and across the nation and to apply regulation consistently and uniformly to all insurers in the marketplace.

The questions in your letter have been asked and answered many times before, including as part of our most recent and heavily regulated rate request process. Our state regulators, including the Attorney General and the Insurance Commissioner, reviewed this information to determine our current interim rate increases.

Nonetheless, I will not only answer your questions, but I will shed additional light on how our current unsustainable system is responsible for our need to request double-digit rate increases, something we agree is very unfortunate in this difficult economy.

As previously stated, we collect much less in premium dollars than we pay out for individual member medical costs, and even this most recent rate increase does not make up the difference. Therefore, 100 percent of collected premiums after the rate increases take affect will be applied to medical costs, and we will still come up short.

BCBSM's surplus is well below its maximum level. Our current surplus, as measure by Risk Based Capital, is approximately 415% below the statutory maximum. Both the Commissioner of The Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation and a Michigan court have ruled that, as a matter of law, the Commissioner does not have the authority to use surplus in place of rate increases unless it exceeds the statutory maximum. Furthermore, despite being one of the five largest Blues plans in terms of membership, we are among the lowest capitalized plans in the country. Maintaining adequate reser
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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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