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Court Orders Mass. Insurers Use 2009 Rates For Now

A Suffolk Superior Court judge is ordering Massachusetts insurers use 2009 rates for small business health insurance premiums until a dispute with state regulators is resolved.

Most of the insurers had already agreed, but Wednesday's ruling said Fallon Community Health Plan and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care must also use the April 2009 rates for now.

The ruling comes as Attorney General Martha Coakley is getting more involved in the dispute.

Her office is representing consumers in the Division of Insurance's administrative hearings about the rate hike proposals.

Major insurers have proposed small business premium hikes of up to 32 percent. The Patrick administration is seeking 7.7 percent.

The insurers sued to get their new premiums enacted, but the administration - represented in court by Coakley's office - prevailed.

This program aired on April 22, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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