For Immediate Release - July 31, 2010

GOVERNOR PATRICK STATEMENT ON BLUE CROSS BLUE SHIELD AGREEMENT TO REDUCE RATE INCREASES

BOSTON - Thursday, August 5, 2010 - Below is a statement from Governor Deval Patrick on the announcement this morning that the Patrick-Murray Administration's Division of Insurance has reached a health-insurance rate settlement with Blue Cross-Blue Shield that reduces proposed rate increases to an average blended rate of approximately 8 percent and delivers significant savings to nearly 400,000 small businesses and working families in Massachusetts. Tufts Associated Health Plan entered into a settlement with the administration on Monday, bringing the total number of agreements the administration has negotiated on behalf of small businesses and working families to four. Those agreements now cover about 90 percent of the small businesses and working families insured in the merged market in Massachusetts.

"I thank Blue Cross-Blue Shield and the three other insurers who have entered into settlement agreements for working with us to deliver real relief from the out-of-control health care costs that are preventing small businesses from adding jobs," said Governor Patrick. "Skyrocketing premium increases, year after year, are nothing short of an economic emergency and I am committed to working with all stakeholders - insurers and providers - to develop immediate and long term solutions. This is about doing everything we can to help working families and small businesses during these difficult economic times."

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