Regional
6:27 pm
Sun April 15, 2012

Customers Blast Proposed Insurance Rate Hike

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A state hearing officer listened as several Blue Cross Blue Shield policyholders spoke of financial hardships if higher monthly premiums were to kick in as the insurer wants.

The insurance company has proposed a 6.9 percent increase on June 1 for 31,000 New Mexicans with individual health care policies.

Saturday's hearing in Santa Fe came after Blue Cross laid out its case for the increase earlier this month. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports the company argued it was needed to cover claims that led the company to lose $7.2 million in the individual market in 2011.

New Mexico Division of Insurance hearing officer Aaron Ezekiel has until April 3-0 to make a recommendation on the need for the rate increase.

Policyholders with employer-provided group insurance aren't affected.

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Information from: The Santa Fe New Mexican, http://www.sfnewmexican.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.