KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Health Insurers To Refund Consumers $330 Million

The refunds are required under the health law when insurers spend less than 80 to 85 percent of health care premiums for medical care. Florida consumers will receive the biggest rebates, with $41.7 million returned, according to government data.

Reuters: U.S. Health Insurers To Pay $330 Million In Premium Rebates
U.S. health insurers will send out about $330 million in rebates to employers and individuals this summer under President Barack Obama's healthcare law, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said on Thursday. The law, often called Obamacare, requires insurance companies to refund customers when they spend less than 80 percent or 85 percent of healthcare premiums they collect for medical care. The rebates will go to about 6.8 million people and have a value of about $80 per family. They are to be sent by Aug. 1 either directly to consumers or to the employer providing the health coverage, who is required to pass the savings onto employees, the agency said in a report (Humer, 7/23).

The Hill: Insurers Returned $9B To Consumers Under O-Care
Insurance companies returned about $9 billion from premiums since 2011 because of an ObamaCare provision to cap how much profit they can make, according to a new Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report released Thursday. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies are required to spend at least 80 to 85 percent of the premiums they collect on patient care or to make improvements to healthcare quality (Al-Faruque, 7/24).

The Associated Press: Insurers Owe More Than $8M in Refunds in Illinois
The federal government says more than 108,000 Illinois health insurance customers will benefit from more than $8 million in refunds because of a provision of the nation's health care law. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released the figures Thursday (7/24).

Health News Florida: Florida #1 In Rebates; Blue Owes $10M
Insurers must pay $41.7 million in rebates to Florida individuals and employers this summer, an amount that far exceeds refunds in any other state, according to a federal report released Thursday. That brings Florida's three-year total from the ObamaCare rebate program to almost $220 million. This year's rebate will average $65 per family in Florida, according to the report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Gentry, 7/24).

Detroit Free Press: Michiganders Getting $13.1 Million in Health Insurance Refunds
Thousands of Michiganders will receive unexpected checks or savings in their health coverage this summer — $13.1 million in all — after 17 Michigan companies overspent funds that were to cover health care rather than overhead, according to a report released today by the Obama administration. Under federal health reform, insurers that cover small groups and individuals must spend at least 80% of what consumers pay in premiums to cover patient care or to improve quality rather than to cover red tape or set aside as profit (Erb, 7/24).

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