The Denver Post, September 17, 2010

About 90,000 people who have been insured by Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield this year will share in a $20 million settlement.

An agreement announced Thursday between Anthem and the Colorado Division of Insurance centers on complaints by individual health policyholders about three rate hikes in a 13-month period.

Anthem's overall increases of as much as 30 percent weren't out of line, the division said, but the frequency of the hikes prompted a spike in complaints.

An inquiry launched because of the complaints has closed, with Anthem not admitting any fault or wrongdoing. The company also does not face a civil penalty.

"Getting $20 million back into the pockets of Colorado consumers is a positive and beneficial outcome," Insurance Commissioner Marcy Morrison said.

Morrison said the division "will continue our active review" of rate filings by all insurers.

Anthem said it is confident its rates are appropriate, and as part of the agreement, the Insurance Division reaffirmed Anthem's 2010 premiums.

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