Archive for January 17th, 2012

CIGNA Health Insurance Rates Increasing 44% in Arizona

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Federal regulators have taken over some of Arizona’s health insurance rate increase reviews.  Any health insurance company requesting a rate increase of 10% or more will be subject to a review from the federal government now.  This information comes from Ken Alltucker of The Republic’s article, “Arizona health-insurance companies targeted.”  “Unreasonable” was the term used by the federal government for Trustmark Life Insurance Co.’s requested health insurance rate increase of 13%.  If you compare health insurance quotes in Arizona, many companies are increasing them without following the federal requirements that 80-85% of collected money be spent on medical costs.

Thirty-two other health insurance companies in Arizona will be reviewed by federal regulators as well, with requested increases between 14-44%.  CIGNA health insurance of Arizona has a proposed rate increase of 44% for its small business plan.  Their individual health insurance plan has a proposed rate increase of 21%.  A company spokesperson says that these plans have been losing money for multiple years.  Insurance companies in Arizona are pushing the state’s Department of Insurance to increase their regulations so that the federal government backs off.

Trustmark’s review has already been completed and they have been told by the Department of Health and Human Services to refund consumers or give a reason for not doing so.  Their proposed 13% increase for a small group insurance plan is actually an 18.1% increase once you account for another increase Trustmark had within the last year.  DHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius points out that the company is using too much money for administrative expenses and not enough on paying for medical care.  The Affordable Care Act stresses the importance of this expense ratio.  The government regulators plan to review the remaining Arizona plans soon.