Court Rejects Huge Blue Cross/Blue Shield Rate Hike

New Mexico – The state Supreme Court has cleared the way for state regulators to give another look at a double-digit rate increase for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico.

The court turned down on Wednesday a request by the insurance company to keep a rate increase agreement in place. The state insurance superintendent suspended a 21 percent average rate increase for the company last month and scheduled a public hearing on it in late August.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the state Insurance Division and the attorney general's office in April agreed to settle the rate case. The company had proposed an average increase of more than 24 percent.

The rate settlement ran into criticism and regulators suspended it to allow for a public hearing.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.