|Hearing Scheduled for November 24, 2008|
In accordance with the authority granted to the Commissioner of Insurance ("Commissioner") in Chapter 176K of the Massachusetts General Laws, a hearing will take place at the Division of Insurance ("Division"), One South Station, Boston, MA at 10:00 a.m. on November 24, 2008 to consider the request of Bankers Life and Casualty Company ("Bankers Life") for approval of rate changes for Medicare Supplement Insurance policy Forms GR-73X, GR-98X, GR-A040, GR-A042, GR-A043, GR-A044 and GR-A053. Bankers Life seeks the following increases: 1.3 percent for the Form GR-73X plan; 21.9 percent for the Form GR98-X plan; 21.4 percent for the Form GR-A042 plan; 30.9 percent for the Form GR-A043 plan; 14.2 percent for the Form GR-A044 plan; and 21.4 percent the Form GR-A053 plan. It seeks a 5.8 percent decrease for the Form GR-A040 plan. The hearing shall also consider related matters, as set out in the filings, relating to these policy forms. This proceeding is designated as Docket R2008-03 and shall be conducted pursuant to 211 CMR 121.01 through 121.04 and 121.15 through 121.27.
This hearing will afford all interested parties an opportunity to provide oral and written testimony relating to the proposed rates so that the Commissioner may determine whether the benefits provided are unreasonable in relation to the rates charged; whether the rates are excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory; and whether the company employs utilization review programs and other techniques acceptable to the Commissioner which have had or are expected to have a demonstrated impact on preventing reimbursement by the company for services which are not medically necessary. Bankers Life's proposed rates and supporting documentation may be inspected in the offices of the Division during normal business hours.
A technical conference will take place at the Division at 10:00 a.m. on November 12, 2008. All intervenors must attend. The purpose of the technical conference is to narrow the issues to be contested in the hearing and to conduct discovery of matters pertaining to cost containment activities and the technical ratemaking calculations employed by Bankers Life. The Presiding Officer also may consider proposed stipulations at the technical conference.
Immediately prior to the hearing on November 24, unsworn oral or written statements can be submitted at a public comment hearing. A prehearing conference will take place following this opportunity for public comment. Direct testimony from Bankers Life and cross-examination of Bankers Life witnesses will take place thereafter, from day to day, until completed.
Other than the State Rating Bureau, each party to this proceeding must enter an appearance. No more than four days following this notice, each statutory intervenor intending to participate in the proceeding must file with the Division and serve on Bankers Life, the State Rating Bureau, and all statutory intervenors a notice of intent to participate. Persons, other than statutory intervenors, who wish to intervene in this proceeding shall file with the Division a request for leave to intervene in accordance with 211 CMR 121.16 no later than November 10, 2008. Any such request for leave to intervene will be taken up at the technical conference on November 12, 2008. Persons who wish to present unsworn oral or written statements at the public comment hearing should submit a request to do so no later than November 19, 2008. Those who do not so notify the Division will be heard after those who do notify the Division. All papers relating to this proceeding shall refer to Docket No. R2008-03 and shall be addressed to the Division of Insurance, Docket Clerk, One South Station, Boston, MA 02110-2208
Dated: October 28, 2008
Nonnie S. Burnes
Commissioner of Insurance