Letter America Dear Doctor Guy, My friend recently stopped taking my calls because I’m dating her ex-boyfriend, but they broke up like over two years ago. I don’t know what to do.—Helpless Hottie ... More
This just in from the PRC: Blue Cross Blue Shield of new Mexico got that rate hike it wanted. Today, Insurance Superintendent John Franchini approved a 6.9 percent rate increase.
Blue Cross argued in its filings that due to the high cost of providing health services in rural areas, it needs more ratepayer money to make ends meet. However, as SFR reported earlier this month, Blue Cross' parent company has an estimated $8.9 billion in cash reserves, and its top executives saw, on average, an approximately 65 percent increase in their pay in 2011—far more than the 14 percent increase most executives enjoyed.
Those factors didn't come into play in this rate case, since it was filed last year, but all cases filed beginning in January 2012 allow PRC staff to consider a company's overall finances when deciding whether it really needs a rate hike.
As SFR previously reported, Franchini didn't have to approve the rate hike; he could have rejected it. As it is, though, most BCBS members with individual plans—people who buy their own insurance rather than getting it through an employer—will see an increase.