Insurance Rate Reviews Pick Up Momentum
Regulators at the state and federal levels are stepping up oversight of health insurance rate increases.
iWatch News: U.S. States Step Up Oversight Of Health Insurance Companies' Rate Increases
Regulators in 38 states last year reviewed all health insurance companies' planned increases in premiums before the rates took effect, according to a Government Accountability Office survey that also found the reviews ranged from detailed examinations to a cursory glance at rate justifications. ... With the passage of the health reform law last year, the Health and Human Services Department (HHS) is awarding $250 million in grants over five years to help state regulators do a better job of overseeing insurers' rate increases (Duszak, 8/3).
CQ HealthBeat: Larsen Defends Rate Review In Hearing
Senate Democrats said in a wide-ranging hearing Tuesday that insurers are greedily making as much profit as possible before they face more scrutiny when the health care law takes effect. Republicans said the overhaul law itself is driving up costs, which insurers pass on. A top Obama administration official did not engage too deeply in that debate, saying that rates do need to be reviewed more closely. To facilitate such rate reviews, states can still get more federal funding if they apply in the next couple of weeks (Adams, 8/2).
Des Moines Register: U.S. May Drop Plan To Review Insurance Rates
Iowa's insurance commissioner is confident that federal officials will back off their plan to review health insurance rate increases for Iowans who receive their coverage via small employers. Officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said last month that Iowa was one of 10 states that were doing an insufficient job of reviewing such rate increases. The officials said they planned to start performing their own reviews, under authority granted in the new federal health reform law (Leys 8/3).