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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2009
9:01 AM

CONTACT: Brave New Foundation

Martha de Hoyos
(310) 402-9048
martha@bravenewfilms.org

WellPoint, Inc. Subsidiary Sues State of Maine for Failing to Guarantee Annual Profit Margin of 3%

WellPoint has spent over $10 million* in D.C. fighting the public option as "socialized medicine." Lawsuit calls to question "socialized corporate profits."

AUGUSTA, Maine - October 5 - In December 2008, Anthem Health Plans, who controls approximately 79% of the Maine health care insurance market**, proposed a rate increase of 18.5% for the same level of benefits to its 12,000 policy holders.  In May 2009, Maine's Superintendent of Insurance denied these rate increases, having found these predatory rate increases "excessive and unfairly discriminatory", and deemed that the state of Maine has no obligation to guarantee Anthem a profit.***

Anthem Health Plans proceeded to sue the state of Maine for not allowing them a guaranteed risk profit margin of 3%.

To highlight this lawsuit, WellPoint's profiteering practices, and its denial of care to its policy holders, Brave New Films is releasing its fifth installment of Sick For Profit.

To view this installment of Sick For Profit, please visit:

http://www.sickforprofit.com

"The plans got more and more expensive, and we had fewer and fewer benefits. It got to a point where some of [our employees] just don't have any coverage at all.  It's just crazy to me that people who are supposed to be providing health care are in fact only taking care of a few select people and it has nothing to do with health. It all has to do with profit." - Bob and Suzanne Kelly, Business Owners of House Revivers Inc. and Kelly Realty Management, Bangor, Maine 

"In the middle of a recession which is hitting Mainers exceptionally hard, Anthem requested that the state guarantee that they make 3% profit off of just 12,000 people with individual plans. The state said no, it is a recession. And Anthem decided to sue the state over that decision." Ali Vander Zanden, Quote by People's Alliance of Maine"

This lawsuit calls into question the charges of "socialized medicine" advanced by industry-funded front groups.  If state-guaranteed coverage is considered by the insurance industry to be "socialized medicine," what are state-guaranteed corporate profits?

Anthem Health Plans of Maine, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc.  From 2006 to 2008, Anthem paid nearly $152 million in dividends to WellPoint.***

*According to Open Secrets at http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientsum.php?lname=Blue+Cross%2FBlue+Shield&year=2009

**According to Maine Bureau of Insurance

***According to Brief of Respondent Superintendent of Insurance in Opposition to Appeal

From Maine Superior Court, Civil Action, Docket No. AP-09-29

Anthem Health Plans of Maine, Inc., d/b/a Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield v. Superintendent of Insurance, et al.

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