A Massachusetts Division of Insurance appeals board has agreed with Harvard Pilgrim that the premium rate increases it sought earlier this year were in line with increases in provider costs.

According to the Boston Globe, in reversing the insurance division's earlier ruling, its appeals panel found that the higher rates Harvard Pilgrim sought for plans covering individuals and small businesses were in line with what it must pay to the hospitals and doctors who provide medical care.

In the short run, that is good news for Harvard Pilgrim and possibly the state's other health plans whose appeals are still pending. It means that they can keep their doors open a bit longer. However, it does nothing to lower heath care costs. And, consumers will be left paying the bill.

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