New Mexico Suspends Blue Cross Rate Hike Settlement

New Mexico – New Mexico's acting insurance chief has signed an order suspending a rate increase settlement with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico.

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, which oversees the Insurance Division, says acting insurance superintendent Johnny Montoya signed the suspension order Tuesday.

A public hearing has been scheduled for August 25 in Santa Fe.

PRC staff plan to explain at the hearing how they reached the decision to approve the settlement, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield officials will present evidence to justify the double-digit rate increase.

Montoya says he wants to ensure the rates are justified and bring transparency to the process.

An estimated 40,000 New Mexicans would be affected by the rate increase.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.