Michigan AG and Blues continue to fight over legislation

Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox and the Michigan Blues are going head to head once again over potential legislative changes. This time Cox is on the offensive, calling for more precise financial details before the Michigan Legislature even considers passing any of the bills the health plan is seeking.

Every three years the state's insurance commissioner completes an audit of Blue Cross, and Cox is calling for the legislature to wait for the details that the audit might uncover. He cites news from the Lansing State Journal that two Blue Cross executives apparently admitted that they had fudged the numbers in the reports of their projected losses by including a $210 million pension accounting adjustment.

Michigan Blues CFO Mark Bartlett in turn accused Cox of being misinformed and perhaps intentionally making statements based on misinformation. He claimed that pension accounting doesn't factor into their projected losses of more than $260 million in 2009 and more than $300 million in 2010.

The fight is over legislation that would allow Blue Cross to raise rates without oversight from the state Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation, and to force private insurers to cover more people in spite of health problems or age, so the Blues don't get stuck with the most expensive patients.

To learn more about the struggle:
- read this Free Press piece