RadioActive 11/11/10

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Today we look at health insurance company Anthem’s lawsuit against the state of Maine for denying them a guaranteed profit margin. The Maine Supreme Judicial Court heard Anthem’s appeal yesterday.

Also,as Thanksgiving approaches, we look at the 8th annual Solidarity Harvest.

Yesterday, the Maine Judicial Court heard arguments in “Anthem Health of Maine, Inc. v. Superintendent of Insurance et al.” This is the second time health insurance giant, Anthem, has appealed a court ruling to uphold a decision made by Maine’s Superintendent of Insurance regarding a one year pause, in 2009, for Anthem’s request to a guaranteed profit margin of 3%. This would have seen individual policy holders hit with an 18% increase in their rate. Anthem holds 79% of the insurance market in Maine, around 400,000 policy holders. The rate change four individual health care insurance products affected 12,000 holders.

Last year company officials said, as reported in the Portland Press Herald, that the rate hike requested reflected the medical risks of doing business in Maine, as Maine has high rates of asthma, heart disease, diabetes, a high number of smokers, and a restrictive regulatory environment.

Anthem’s director of corporate communications, Chris Dugan, was unable to provide an interview for today’s program, but expressed interest in a future program. He said the crux of the suit and the appeal is to challenge whether the Superintendent of Insurance has the authority to rule as they did.

We were able to speak with an organizer with the Maine Peoples Alliance on this issue, Ryan Tipping-Spitz.

We spoke with Laura Binger, and organizer with Food and Medicine about the Food and Medicine and the Eastern Maine Labor Council 8th annual Solidarity Harvest. For more information. 989-5860 or