Obama Admin. To Redouble Campaign Against Insurers’ Rate Hikes
After criticizing California insurer Anthem for raising premiums 10 days ago, Obama administration officials are preparing for more, The Washington Post reports. "Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has scheduled a late-morning news conference, at which she is to cite half a dozen examples," where insurers have sought big rate hikes for individual coverage.
"HHS is casting the insurance industry in an unflattering light during a moment of deep uncertainty over the fate of Congress's intense debate about the health-care system's future," the Post says. An insurance industry spokesman said the criticism is "misplaced, because its members were merely responding to changes in the prices charged" by providers (Goldstein, 2/18).
The Hill: "Sebelius will detail her department's findings about premium increases in Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington state." Anthem recently delayed a 39 percent premium increase (Young, 2/17).
Meanwhile, in Indiana, state "lawmakers grilled the Indiana president of WellPoint's Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield on Wednesday about the company's rising premiums as it disclosed that average rates for the 107,000 individual policyholders in Indiana are rising 21 percent this year," according to The Indianapolis Star (Lee, 2/18).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.