HHS Issues Finalized Health Insurance Rate Review Regulation
The Hill's Healthwatch Blog: "The Health and Human Services Department finalized regulations Thursday that will require insurance companies to disclose and justify rate increases of 10 percent or more. ... Although a 10 percent hike only triggers disclosure requirements, and is not automatically considered unreasonable, HHS will transition to state-by-state standards next year, department officials said. ... HHS delayed the effective date ... until September. They were previously slated to take effect in July" (Baker, 5/19).
PolitcoPro: "The new regulation doesn't give HHS the power to block a rate increase from taking effect, but administration officials believe the heightened scrutiny will give insurers pause before significantly boosting premiums. ... While HHS officials stressed they want rate review power to remain with the states, they acknowledged the administration will likely take on reviews for some states" (Millman, 5/19).
Bloomberg: "U.S. insurers led by WellPoint Inc. (WLP) and UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) failed to get federal regulators to change a rule in the 2010 health-care overhaul that triggers a review of any premium increases exceeding 10 percent. The ruling takes effect this year and adds pressure on insurers to justify price increases." It was "prompted partly by a proposal from the California subsidiary of Indianapolis-based WellPoint to raise rates as much as 39 percent in 2010" (Armstrong, 5/19).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.