Alabama Insurance Premium Hikes May Soon Come Under Federal Scrutiny
In other state insurance news, the Georgia health plan that covers about 700,000 state workers, retirees and dependents is facing low reserves, and two California insurers announces new coverage for autism therapy.
The Birmingham News: Health Insurance Premiums In Alabama To Come Under Federal Review
Alabama is one of 10 states that lack the authority or resources to adequately regulate health insurance rates, so many large health insurance premium increases in the state will come under federal review beginning Sept. 1, according to a federal report. Beginning this fall, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will review health insurance premium increases greater than 10 percent for individual and small-group insurance plans in Alabama, the division of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services said in a report on the program (Diel, 7/15).
Georgia Health News: State Health Plan Facing Tough Fiscal Choices
The bad financial news keeps rolling in for the State Health Benefit Plan, which covers about 700,000 employees, teachers, school personnel, retirees and dependents. Currently, the employee plan has $50 million in reserve - enough to pay claims for about six days, state officials said Thursday. A healthy reserve typically has the funds to cover a month or two of claims (Miller, 7/14).
Los Angeles Times: Anthem, Blue Shield To Cover Therapy For Autistic Children
Two of California's largest health insurers have agreed to pay for costly behavioral therapy for thousands of autistic children - services the companies have long resisted covering. Under pressure from regulators, Blue Shield of California and Anthem Blue Cross said they would pick up the initial cost of a treatment known as applied behavior analysis (Helfand and Zarembo, 7/15).