Insurer Rates Spark Attention
In Connecticut, Aetna is proposing rate cuts for this year, a move that reflects, at least partially, the impact of the federal health law. Meanwhile, The Hill reports that consumer groups are anxiously awaiting regulations that will allow the Department of Health and Human Services to review rates. These regs are likely to be out by the end of the month.
The Connecticut Mirror: As Federal Health Reforms Take Effect, Aetna Proposes Rate Cuts
More than 15,000 Aetna customers could see their health insurance premiums drop by between 5 percent and 19.5 percent later this year, reflecting, at least in part, a new federal requirement that limits how much insurance companies can spend on nonmedical costs. The proposed rate cuts would affect state residents covered by Aetna individual health plans and, if approved by the Connecticut Insurance Department, would take effect Sept. 1 (Levin Becker, 5/11).
The Hill: Consumer Groups Push Rate-Review Bill, Await HHS Rules
Consumer advocates expect federal regulators to finalize regulations this month that will allow the Department of Health and Human Services to review insurance companies' rates. The health care reform law gave HHS new powers to review "unreasonable" rate hikes, though it cannot stop increases from taking effect. Carmen Balber, Washington director for the advocacy group Consumer Watchdog, said HHS has indicated that it's planning to release final rules on rate review before the end of the month (Baker, 5/11).