Insurers in Trouble for Health Insurance Increases

After the Department of Health and Human Services reviewed health insurance rate increases greater than 10%, they have determined that increase requests in 9 states are unreasonable.  According to a Department of HHS press release, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says that the companies either have to reduce the rate increases, refund money to customers, or explain why they aren’t doing either of those things.  The Affordable Care Act now requires health insurance companies to justify any health insurance rate increases over 10%.  If they cannot do so, the increases will be deemed unreasonable by the government and the insurers will have to make some changes.

The HHS has been reviewing these requests for 6 months now and consumers will be happy to know that health insurance rate increases are on the decline.  Increases in premiums went down 4.5% in the last quarter of last year and Nevada health insurance rates actually went down.  The government has information on increase requests and other information pertaining to this law on their healthcare website.

The insurance companies whose rate requests were denied were requesting large health insurance premium increases in 9 different states.  This would effect 42,000 different people in Wyoming, Wisconsin, Virginia, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, Louisiana, Idaho and Arizona.  Some of these rate increases would have been 24%, believe it or not.  But too low a percentage of the increases was actually going to pay for medical costs or improvements in quality, so they were deemed unreasonable.  Some states are already showing fewer requests for high rate increases and other states are jumping ahead of the game and purposefully lowering rate increase requests.  Check out the government healthcare website for specific information in your state or with your health insurance company.

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