PUBLIC NOTICE AND OPPORTUNITY FOR COMMENT

Docket Number G2009-07

In accordance with the authority granted to the Commissioner of Insurance under M.G.L. c. 175, M.G.L. c. 176A, M.G.L. c. 176B, M.G.L. c. 176G and M.G.L. c. 176J, the Division of Insurance ("Division") will hold public informational hearings on the rising costs of small business health insurance premiums. These hearings will include introductory informational hearings ("Introductory Hearings") and health plan informational hearings ("Health Plan Hearings").

The purpose of the Introductory Hearings is to afford all interested persons an opportunity to provide oral and/or written comment regarding questions the Division should consider in advance of the Health Plan Hearings. The purpose of the Health Plan Hearings is to review the actions that Massachusetts health plans are currently taking to reduce costs and to determine future steps that may be necessary to eliminate the substantial increases impacting the small group market.

The Division will hold the Introductory Hearings as follows:

Mon., Nov. 2, 2009, 10:00 a.m.

Lowell, Middlesex Community College, Assembly Room, Bradford Morse Federal Building, 50 Kearney Square. Parking is available in the Lower Locks Garage located on 90 Warren Street with a walkway to the College.

Tue., Nov. 3, 2009, 10:00 a.m.Springfield, Springfield Technical Community College (located in the former Springfield Armory), Armory Square, Building 2, Scibelli Hall, Room 703. Parking is available for 30 reserved spaces and on the street. Parking is limited.
Wed., Nov. 4, 2009, 10:00 a.m.Boston, Division of Insurance, 5th Floor, One South Station, Boston, MA.
Thu., Nov. 5, 2009, 11:00 a.m.Bridgewater, Bridgewater State College, Small Ballroom, Campus Center, 19 Park Avenue.
Fri., Nov. 6, 2009, 10:00 a.m.Worcester, Worcester State College, 486 Chandler Street. North\South Auditorium in the Student Center. Parking is available in the gym lot or any general parking space. Please do not park in reserved parking or the garage.


The Division will hold the Health Plan Hearings beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, November 9, 2009 at the offices of the Division, Hearing Room A, 5th Floor, One South Station, Boston, Massachusetts, 02110. Massachusetts health plans will be asked to respond to questions posed by the Division regarding health premiums they charge to small businesses. It is anticipated that these Health Plan Hearings will take place three days per week for a period of at least six weeks.

Any person who wishes to provide oral comment at any of the Introductory Hearings scheduled between November 2, 2009 and November 6, 2009 may submit a Notice of Intent to Comment to the Division on or before 12:00 p.m. on October 30, 2009. All other persons who wish to comment will be heard subsequent to those who notify the Division in advance. Persons wishing to submit written comments may do so until the record of the hearing is closed. All submissions must be sent to: Docket Clerk, Hearings and Appeals, Division of Insurance, One South Station, Boston, Massachusetts, 02110, and must refer to Docket Number G2009-07.

Dated: October 26, 2009

_____________________________

Joseph G. Murphy
Acting Commissioner of Insurance