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Pennsylvania Insurance Department Examinations to Focus on Health Insurance Competition
Date:7/17/2009

health reform that is premised on competitive markets existing at the state level."

Among the issues to be explored are the following:

  • Whether the territorial restrictions in the Blues' licensing agreements are anti-competitive given the unique circumstances in Pennsylvania with competing Blue licenses in three of the state's four regions, as well as evidence that Blue on Blue competition has benefited consumers and enhanced the Blue brand in the central region.
  • Whether there are other agreements among the Blues that impede rather than promote competition.
  • Whether the Blues use their market power to unfair and anti-competitive advantage in areas such as provider contracting and product tying.
  • Whether there are restrictions on data sharing and other market practices that impede the transparency necessary to a competitive marketplace.

"Our underlying goal is to promote competition, not to denigrate in any way the impressive accomplishments of the four Blues, each of which has played a critical role in providing health insurance and supporting civic causes," Ario said. "We reject the notion that enhanced competition is inconsistent with the future success of the Blues and their competitors."

The Insurance Department will begin the examinations this month, with the goal of completing them by early 2010. The department has retained the law firm of Hangley Aronchick Segal & Pudlin to serve as an examiner and expects to retain an expert economist in connection with the examinations. While the law governing examinations requires that confidential treatment be given to information and materials provided by the examination subjects during the course of the examinations, the law also provides that the results, in the form of final examination reports, be
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Insurance
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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