NM Blue Cross Rate Hike On Hold

New Mexico – New Mexico regulators have denied a motion by Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico to dismiss the suspension of health insurance premium increases for a dozen plans.

The denial from the Public Regulation Commission's Insurance Division was issued Wednesday, about a week after it called for a hearing to give the public a chance to comment on the rate increases sought by the company.

The division also is requiring Blue Cross Blue Shield to suspend the higher rates until after the public hearing is held next month and a final decision is made by the state.

Several customers have complained that recent bills reflect the increased premiums.

The division says any collected premiums that are based on the suspended rates shall be refunded.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.