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SANTA FE (AP) — A state hearing officer has listened to several Blue Cross Blue Shield policyholders speak of financial hardships they’ll endure if higher monthly premiums were to kick in as the insurer wants.
The insurance company has proposed a 6.9 percent increase on June 1 for 31,000 New Mexicans with individual health care policies.
Saturday’s hearing to take consumer comment in Santa Fe came after Blue Cross laid out its case for the increase earlier this month. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports The company argued it was needed to cover claims that led the company to lose $7.2 million in the individual market in 2011.
New Mexico Division of Insurance hearing officer Aaron Ezekiel has until April 20 to make a recommendation on the need for the rate increase.
Policyholders with employer-provided group insurance aren’t affected.
Sonia Shad Goldstein told Ezekiel that her premiums would go up to $809 a month, more than her mortgage.
“I imagine myself, a 60-year-old woman, without health insurance,” Goldstein told Ezekiel. “It scares the bejesus out of me.”
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