"Superintendent has noted that Anthem's done pretty well." Janet Mills is the Maine Attorney General who is representing the superintendent of insurance. Mills' office counters that Anthem averaged a 3.2 percent profit margin in its individual line of products for the nine years that the company has been in Maine. And that going a year without a profit from those products will not drain the company.
"She found that in fact that had contributed to $17.5 and that its executives were pocketing rather large salaries and bonuses." Anthem spokesman Chris Dugan did not comment on the lawsuit beyond acknowledging that it had been filed. In a brief filed with the Maine Superior Court, however, Anthem calls a 0 percent profit margin unfair and unprecedented; it says it wants to have a profit margin of at least 3 percent.
Hearing that angers some consumer groups.
"Average Mainers don't get an assurance that they're going to get a profit margin. They don't get that type of luxury in a tough time." Greg Howard is a health care activist with the Change that Works campaign. The group has planned a Wednesday rally outside Maine Superior Court in Augusta.
The activists favor of a government-sponsored insurance option being debated in Congress and they say Anthem's lawsuit underscores the need for a public option.
"It's a shameful act on their part at a time when people are bankrupt because of medical costs." Oral arguments are expected to be heard next month. As for the rate increase approved by the insurance superintendent - 10.9 percent instead of the 18.5 percent Anthem wanted - that's been in effect since July.