Anthem Asks for Rate Increase Approval 

Major health insurer Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield wants to raise its rates in Maine. Premiums on some plans would go up by an average of 14-and-a-half percent.They filed a proposal with the state for approval, and now the Department of Insurance is asking for comments from policy holders.The first public meeting was held tonight in Orono.The plan would affect people with Health Choice, Health Choice Standard and Basic plans, as well as those with Lumenos Consumer Directed plans.Rates would increase for more than 12-thousand policy holders throughout the state.Chris Dugan with Anthem says the company needs the increase to continue operations.”Medical costs are constantly up, medical technology is driving the health care cost to that,” Dugan says. “So in order to ensure that the members in the pool have adequate coverage, we are asking for a rate increase.”The Department has another public comment session scheduled for March 10th in Portland, and a hearing on March 12th in Gardiner – at which point Anthem says they’ll better explain how they arrived at that rate increase.If you have comments but can’t make the meetings, you can also submit your remarks directly to the Department of Insurance. Visit for more information.