Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico health insurance (BCBSNM) has reached a settlement with the New Mexico Insurance Division and the state Attorney General’s Office on its individual market premium increase.
In December 2009, the New Mexico Insurance Division approved a rate increase for BCBSNM individual plans for a total average premium increase of 24.6 percent. BCBSNM began notifying individual policyholders in January of the increases, which would be effective beginning April 1, 2010.
Following member complaints, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) requested that the Insurance Division review the approval process and conduct a formal public hearing. The Superintendent issued a Hearing Order suspending the previously approved New Mexico health insurance increase and setting a hearing for April 26. The formal portion of the hearing was not held as a result of the settlement, but public comment was taken for the record.
Based on the settlement agreement, Blue Cross Blue Shield New Mexico has received approval for an average premium increase of 21.3 percent, which is 3.3 percent points less than the rate previously approved by the Insurance Division. (There were no benefit or product changes as a result of this settlement.) The new premium rate is effective as of April 1, 2010.
New notification to impacted members will begin over the next few weeks, with detailed premium rate information and payment process guidelines