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Massachusetts judge denies rate hike for insurers

Posted On Thu, April 15, 2010

After a heated legal battle over the right to raise insurance rates, a Massachusetts judge denied insurers' requests to hike premiums.

Health insurers proposed 235 rate increases that would raise insurance premiums by double-digit numbers. Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick denied insurers their request, a first in the state's history. Patrick, pleased wit the judge's decision, told the Boston Globe that "unless insurers can give us a good reason why, when everything else is flat, they deserve 20 percent, 30 percent, and in some cases 40 percent increases, they're going to be denied."

Insurers claimed the rate increase rejection would cost them hundreds of millions of dollars. Initially, they even threatened to stop writing new health coverage for individuals and small businesses.

The Globe reports the suggested rate increases would have been put in place on April 1. It also said that the insurers are appealing the judge's decision with the state's Division of Insurance. In the event the insurer's appeals are denied, the case would be seen in court later in the spring, the Globe said.
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