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$1B in Premium Rate Increases Rejected in Rate Reviews

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, September 12, 2012

She added that the results of premium increase rate reviews indicate that the health insurance market is now "working for consumers the way markets are supposed to work. Insurers are being forced to offer more competitive prices."

The rate reviews assess whether proposed increases in health insurance premiums are based on reasonable estimates of the next year's cost of providing services to enrollees and accurately reflect changes in medical expenses and healthcare utilization.

Of the double-digit increases reviewed, 36% were found to be reasonable, 26% were rejected, 12% were withdrawn, and 26% were modified to meet requirements.

The largest savings were recorded in California ($34.6 million), New York ($20.2 million), and Michigan ($15.5 million). According to the report, the implemented rate increases were reduced on average by 2.8 percentage points.

Officials declined to attribute any of the premium costs savings to either a slowing down of demand or increased competition among health insurers.

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2 comments on "$1B in Premium Rate Increases Rejected"


barium (9/12/2012 at 6:42 PM)
This is great! So, let's see...it would be like seeing prices rise at the pump and capping how much the gas station can charge, without addressing the cost of what he pays for gas from the truck. Let's not address the cost of care, just pummel insurers and if needed, make them take losses. Hello?

Jonathan L Lauer (9/12/2012 at 10:57 AM)
In the article, HHS Secretary Sebelius is quoted as saying, "the health insurance market is now 'working for consumers the way markets are supposed to work. Insurers are being forced to offer more competitive prices." On the contrary, if the insurance market really was "working for consumers", federal management of prices would not be necessary. Her comment makes it clear that she either does not understand the nature of free markets or does not want a free market. Genuine and comprehensive insurance market reforms could work, but we are moving in the opposite direction.