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Aetna: MI Blue Cross paid hospitals to soak competitors

Detroit Free Press, December 7, 2011
The giant health insurer Aetna filed a lawsuit in Detroit's federal court today claiming Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan raised rates to consumers and then gave the extra money to hospitals that agreed to charge higher prices to Blues competitors. The suit alleges that the Blues "implemented a scheme to use ever-increasing premiums from the patients and employers it serves in order to protect its dominant position and thwart competition from Aetna and its competitors." The Blues pursued the strategy "at the very time when Michigan employers and consumers were suffering from the crushing effects of the recession and increasing healthcare costs,'' the lawsuit charges.