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Published September 08, 2009, 02:28 PM

Hamm to release report detailing Blue Cross Blue Shield spending; Blues officials, Hamm to comment this afternoon

FARGO – Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota executives have delayed a news conference to discuss a report by state insurance examiners that labeled some spending and bonuses awarded during the past five years as lavish.

By: Forum staff reports, INFORUM

FARGO – Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota executives have delayed a news conference to discuss a report by state insurance examiners that labeled some spending and bonuses awarded during the past five years as lavish.

Meanwhile, North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Adam Hamm said he will release the report today after The Forum first obtained a leaked copy and reported on it.

Hamm ordered the examination last March after news reports of a $238,511 reward trip to a Grand Caymans resort for Blue Cross Blue Shield sales leaders sparked public outrage in a time of belt-tightening by most.

The Forum obtained the 101-page report late last week and published a story today outlining details of the exam.

Blue Cross Blue Shield executives were set to discuss the report at a 2 p.m. news conference today but officials said they have reached a deal with Hamm so that he could officially release the report. Hamm had said this morning that he was prevented by law from commenting on the report because it hadn’t been released.

However, Blues officials said today that they have signed an agreement allowing Hamm to release the report. Hamm said he will talk to the media this afternoon and Blue Cross Blue Shield officials said they would then comment at a news conference later today.

The report of the examination detailed $418.3 million in administrative expenses over a five-year period, including almost $15 million in bonuses examiners concluded were “virtually assured” regard-less of company performance.

Check back to www.inforum.com for further updates and read Wednesday's Forum for more details

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