Michigan Requests More Insurance Details From Blue Cross

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Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox on Tuesday reinforced his position requesting more precise details about the projected losses of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan on individual health policies, saying the Legislature should not pass legislation sought by the insurer to offset losses in the individual market until consumers have more information, the Detroit Free Press reports. The legislation would grant the insurer more flexibility in determining its premium rates for individual coverage and would reduce state regulation.

Cox said that two senior BCBS executives on Tuesday said they "wrongly included a $210 million pension accounting adjustment" into projected losses for 2010. According to the Free Press, the pension adjustment is not required that year, and as a result BCBS would make $2 million on individual market policies in 2010. The audits are required every three years. Cox asked the Legislature to wait on the bill until an audit of BCBS is completed.

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BCBS officials said Cox is misinformed, according to the Free Press. Mark Bartlett, CFO of BCBS, said, "Our projected losses on individual lines of insurance are more than $260 million for 2009 and more than $300 million for 2010, and our pension accounting does not factor into these projections"

According to the Free Press, a House-Senate committee trying to reach a compromise on the legislation adjourned Tuesday without taking action. The Free Press reported the committee could reconvene at any time before the holidays (Anstett, Detroit Free Press, 12/10).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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