Mass., Health New England Reach Premium Deal

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance says another state insurer has agreed to lower health insurance premium hikes for individuals and small businesses.

Officials say in a statement released Tuesday that Health New England agreed to increase its effective rates by between 8.3 and 14.7 percent for its estimated 21,000 customers in western Massachusetts.

The firm originally sought increases ranging from 11.5 to 21.3 percent. It will not retroactively bill rate hikes to consumers who renewed their policy or bought a new policy from April through August.

On April 1, the Division of Insurance rejected 235 of 274 rate changes filed by the state's health insurers, saying they were excessive. Some of the insurers appealed the decision.

Health New England is the fifth company to settle, ensuring that 93 percent of the market is covered.

This program aired on August 18, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.


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