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Wednesday, May 5, 2010 - 12:09pm

WellPoint Being Investigated by State

Georgia insurance officials say they’re conducting a full-blown investigation of recent rate increases by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia and their parent company, WellPoint.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius sent a letter on Tuesday urging the state to examine proposed rate increases by the company. Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine says investigators are already doing that.
Just this week WellPoint withdrew its request for a 39-percent premium increase in California after an audit found unreasonable cost estimates. Rates are based on projected claims in the future. Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine says premiums have gone up here as well.
“They have raised rates in the last two years an average of about 21-23% two years consecutively in Georgia.”
Oxendine says Blue Cross sells nearly 70-percent of individual health insurance policies in Georgia. If the rates are found excessive the company could be fined and the rates adjusted.