California Lawmakers Advance Effort To Review Premium Increases
A bill that would allow California officials to review health insurance premium increases advances as consumer groups and doctors in Connecticut lament the governor's veto of a rate review bill. Politico also reports that the federal government is preparing to step in for rate reviews in 10 states.
The Associated Press/Washington Post: Calif. Bill To Give State Officials Power To Reject Health Insurance Rate Hikes Moves Forward
A California legislative committee on Wednesday narrowly approved a bill that would give state officials the power to reject proposed health insurance rate increases, but even some supporters said it will need major changes to survive (7/6).
San Francisco Chronicle: Bill Would Let CA Reject Health Insurance Hikes
A bill to give California regulators the power to reject excessive increases in health insurance premiums passed a key test Wednesday when it was approved by the Senate Health Committee. The bill requires insurers to receive approval from regulators before imposing a rate increase. Officials with the California Department of Managed Health Care and the Department of Insurance could reject the increase if they find the request to be "excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory" (Buchanan, 7/7).
Hartford Courant: Consumer Advocates, Doctors Disappointed In Malloy's Veto Of Rate Review Bill
Consumer advocates and doctors are disappointed in a major legislative loss when Gov. Dannel P. Malloy vetoed a bill that would have required a public hearing process every time an insurer proposed raising health-insurance or long-term-care rates by 10 percent or more. "At a time when there is more public interest in legislative and regulatory processes than ever before, Connecticut missed the opportunity to be the leader in public participation in insurance rate review processes and instead, has taken a step backward," said Matthew C. Katz, executive vice president of the Connecticut State Medical Society (Sturdevant, 7/6).
Politico Pro: HHS Will Handle Rate Reviews In 10 States
The Obama administration will likely step in to conduct insurance rate reviews in 10 states starting in September to investigate any double-digit premium hikes, according to the latest update on the rate review program on the CCIIO website. The Affordable Care Act requires either federal or state review of "unreasonable" rate increases. A regulation finalized in May determined that any premium increases over 10 percent would be subject to the new scrutiny (Kliff, 7/7).