Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Announces Legal Action Against the Massachusetts Division of Insurance

BOSTON - April 5, 2010 - Today, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, along with five other local, not-for-profit health plans and the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, filed legal action against the Massachusetts Division of Insurance. The legal complaint filed in Suffolk Superior Court contends that the Insurance Commissioner exceeded his legal authority by arbitrarily setting premium rates in the individual and small group market. The complaint seeks a court trial no later than June 15, 2010 and an immediate injunction that would prevent the Division of Insurance from implementing or enforcing its April 1, 2010 decision to disapprove premium rates for April, May and June.

We regret that this legal action is necessary, but take this step to protect the health of our business and to protect our members and customers from the significant disruption that would result from the state's arbitrary price controls on premiums.

Slowing the unacceptable rise in premium increases will only happen when we lower the costs which drive those premiums. As we stated last week, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts remains ready and willing to participate in any constructive, community-based effort to achieve a meaningful and sustainable solution to the rise in health care costs here in Massachusetts. We hope such an effort will emerge soon.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts ( ) was founded 73 years ago by a group of community-minded business leaders. Today, headquartered in Boston, BCBSMA provides coverage to more than 3 million members, 2.5 million in Massachusetts. BCBSMA believes in rewarding doctors and hospitals for delivering safe and effective care, and in empowering patients to take more responsibility, become educated health care consumers and become stronger partners with their doctors. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.