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March 31, 2010

Wellmark premium increase delayed by Governor Chet Culver

Governor Chet Culver is injecting himself in the middle of a dispute about Wellmark’s plan to raise the price of health insurance premiums by 18 percent, on average, for about 80,000 Iowans.

Culver has directed the state insurance commissioner to “stay” the premium increase. He’s calling for “a third party, independent actuary” to review the matter and determine whether the rate increases are justified. Rob Schweers, a spokesman for Wellmark, says his company doesn’t object.

“We intend to cooperate fully with the insurance commissioner in an independent, actuarial review of the data that supports our recent, individual rate increases in the individual, under 65 market,” Schweers says. “And by individual, we’re talking about people who buy their own policy as opposed to people who have a group policy through their employer.”

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Posted by Tom Troceen