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Trustmark's Premium Hikes 'Excessive,' Says HHS

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, January 13, 2012

"So many states have gotten additional authority, knowing that this was going to happen, that somebody was going to be reviewing these rates and making determinations as to whether they were excessive or justified by medical costs or not, they've taken that job on for themselves." He gave six examples.

  • In Connecticut, the state stopped Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, the state's largest insurer, from hiking rates by a proposed 12.9%, instead, limiting the increase to only 3.9%.
  • Oregon officials denied a proposed 22.1% hike by Regence, limiting it to 12.8%.
  • New Mexico's insurance authority denied a request from Presbyterian Healthcare for a 9.7% rate hike, lowering it to only 4.7%.
  • Rhode Island denied rate hikes from United Healthcare of New England ranging from 18% to 20.1%, cutting it to 9.6% to 10.6% Cohen said.
  • Pennsylvania reduced Highmark's proposed rate increase of 9.9% to between 4.9% to 8.3%.
  • New York denied rate increases from Emblem, Oxford, and Aetna that averaged 12.7%, instead allowing 8.2%.

Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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