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Anthem Rate Hikes Questioned by CT Healthcare Advocate
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Connecticut’s Healthcare Advocate has written to the state’s Insurance Commissioner urging a fresh investigation into rate hikes requested by insurer Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.

Last year Anthem, which is owned by Wellpoint, asked Connecticut for permission to implement rate rises of up to 25% on individually purchased policies. The insurance department allowed the rate request, but cut the final figure back to a range of between 13 and 20% on different policies. But now, Wellpoint is being investigated in California, after an audit revealed that rate hikes requested there were based on faulty data supplied by the company. Connecticut’s Healthcare Advocate Kevin Lembo has written to Governor Jodi Rell, and to Insurance Commissioner Thomas Sullivan asking that the rate case here be reopened.

"It is about time that we took a close look, took that information very seriously, that we not take the word of companies, but rather do our own due diligence and dig down on that information and draw our own conclusions. People have lost faith in some ways in their government, and its government’s job to protect consumers from marketplace abuses."

Lembo’s calling for Anthem to fund an independent audit to pinpoint any mistakes in the figures it supplied to support its Connecticut request. The Insurance department has said it will review the case again.

For WNPR, I'm Harriet Jones.