Regional
3:02 pm
Wed March 10, 2010

NM Orders April 26 Hearing On Proposed Blue Cross Rate Hikes

New Mexico – In response to consumer concerns, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commissioners last week requested that a hearing be scheduled to review Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico's (BCBSNM) rates. To that end, New Mexico Insurance Superintendent Morris "Mo" Chavez has ordered a formal administrative hearing on the company's rate increases.

The hearing will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, April 26, in the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission's (Commission) Fourth Floor Hearing Room, PERA Building, 1120 Paseo de Peralta in Santa Fe.

The purpose of the hearing is to review the NMPRC Insurance Division staff's approval of BCBSNM's requested increases - which average 24.9 percent.

During the hearing, BCBSNM representatives will present their case - including evidence - in order to justify the company's increases.

Another critical component of the hearing will be to accept public comment on the matter.

As comments will be entered into the record, Commissioners urge potentially affected policyholders and all interested persons to attend the April 26 hearing and make their feelings known. Comments - both written and oral -
will provide the agency with additional information for its examination of the process.

Anyone interested in participating as a party to the proceeding is required to file a motion for leave to intervene on or before March 19. Unlike those who attend to voice public comment, parties to the proceeding are entitled to make appearances, introduce evidence, examine and cross examine witnesses, as
well as make arguments.

The Superintendent's March 9 order also suspends BCBSNM's recently approved rates pending completion of the hearing and the issuance of a decision on the matter.

Contact NMPRC Public Information Officer Gerald Garner Jr. at 505.827.4446, 505.699.7992 or by e-mail at gerald.garner@state.nm.us.