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Blue Crose Blue Shield says adminstrative law judge rules in favor of rate hike

A judge has ruled in favor of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota's rate request of 14.8 percent, the company said in a news release issued today.

Administrative Law Judge Susan Bailey's ruling reverses last summer's decision by the state's Department of Insurance and recommends the rate increase become effective immediately.

However, North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm has 60 days to accept or deny the recommendation, according to the BCBS news release.

The company claims it has lost $6.7 million in premium revenue in its bank depositor line of business since August 2008, shortly after the rate request was rejected by Hamm's office.

"Our initial rate request was based on sound actuarial science and research, and the rate requested was necessary to continue to pay the member claims experienced in the bank depositor line of business," BCBSND President and CEO Mike Unhjem said in the news release.