Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Division of Insurance (the “Division”) struck a deal with Health New England to settle a dispute over rate increases. In the winter of 2009, Health New England, a Springfield, Massachusetts health insurer, attempted to increase its health insurance premiums by a range of 11.5% to 21.3% for about 21,000 customers. The Division denied this increase on April 1, 2010, along with other insurers who sought double-digit increases. Several of these insurers subsequently sued the Division. In August 2010, the Division and Health New England agreed to an average base rate increase for individual and small business customers of 8.2% for the rest of the year (with actual increases ranging from 5.5% to 14.9%). Along with this agreement, Governor Deval Patrick’s office has now reached accords with five other Massachusetts insurance carriers that were denied increases.

To read our previous blog entry discussing the filing of several suits against the Division in April 2010, click here.