The National Association of Insurance Commissioners represented itself as a “standard-setter” on insurance issues in a recent friend of the court brief to the Maine Supreme Court involving premiums charged for health insurance.
In a decision Feb. 28, the state Supreme Court upheld the authority of Mila Kofman, then Maine Insurance Superintendent, to order Anthem Health Plans, Inc., of Maine to lower the profit and risk margin it charges on individual policies from 3 percent to 1 percent.
Anthem last fall challenged the decision of Maine’s insurance regulator to ask Anthem to reduce the profit and risk margin. Maine officials supported the Insurance Department’s department argument that it was within its discretion to keep insurance premiums affordable.
The state’s Supreme Judicial Court said in its decision that Maine insurance officials “properly balanced the competing interests” in arriving at an approved rate increase of 5.2 percent for the second half of the 2011-2012 rate year. Anthem sought a rate increase of 9.2 percent.
The case is Anthem Health Plans of Maine, Inc. v. Superintendent of Insurance.
Anthem sued because it believed that the state’s action violated both the Maine and U.S. Constitutions.
Kofman based her decision on the fact that Anthem had been able to make strong dividend payments to its corporate parent between 2007 and 2010, yet increase its surplus by $30 million.