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States to get $250 million to boost their review program.
State and federal reviewers of health insurance will be on the prowl for any double-digit health insurance rate hikes. This oversight is part of a rate review program created by the Affordable Care Act to help lower costs for families and small business owners who find it difficult to afford coverage, a Sept. 1 Department of Health and Human Services release notes. The rate review will throw light on the industry’s behavior and drive market competition to bring down costs, the release notes.
What the Rate Review Program Entails
The new rules will give regulators the authority to deny or bring down excessive rate hikes. Insurers proposing double-digit hikes will have to provide clear information that indicates what factors are leading to the proposed hike, HHS says. “Experts will closely examine information about the underlying cost trends in health care to flag instances when insurance companies are unjustly raising costs,” the release notes.
States a Key Player
Since many states are under-resourced to carry out strong review, the Affordable Care Act is providing them Health Insurance Premium Review Grants worth $250 million in over five years, HHS reports.
All Roads Lead to Consumers
Effective from mid-September, consumers in each state can visit HealthCare.gov and take a look at the disclosure information explaining proposed increases that are 10 percent or higher than last year’s rates, the HHS release cites.
More information is at: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/09/20110901a.html