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Paper offers options on limiting higher health rates

The New York Times, April 5, 2013

WASHINGTON — State regulators are looking for ways to protect consumers against increases in health insurance rates that they expect to occur next year as major provisions of the new health care law take effect. A paper drafted by a panel of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners analyzes steps that states can take to "mitigate expected premium increases." The options include tighter regulation of premiums, forcing insurers to cut costs or operate at a loss; financial assistance to consumers, in addition to subsidies that will be provided by the federal government; and programs to ensure that the costs of the sickest patients are shared by all insurers.