Illinois to Compare Health Insurance Rate Hikes

Regulators in the state of Illinois have asked for a $1 million federal grant and permission from lawmakers to help police health insurance companies.  They hope to receive permission to make the final decision on any rate increases requested by insurers.  With so many Illinois residents fighting to pay the bills when they compare health insurance costs, regulators believe that this step will help control the skyrocketing premiums charged by many companies.

In the past two years, Illinois has received 186 complaints about health insurance increases, some of which have been up to a 100% increase.  The insurance department hopes that receiving the federal grant will help the lawmakers agree to allow their oversight of insurers like Golden Rule Insurance.  Because of medical inflation and the recession, individual health insurance rates have just skyrocketed.  Insurers defend their rate increases and say that they really should be raising rates even higher.

At least 25 other states have the power to approve or deny rate increases by health insurers.  All health insurers in Illinois, such as Assurant Health, work for profit.  The state currently does not require them to give consumers notice of rate increases or restrict the premiums charged to individuals or large businesses.  Small businesses do have limited protection.  In their request for the government grant, Illinois regulators said that their current system just isn’t effective and they need the government’s money to improve their rate review system.

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