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View Diary: Health Insurers Refuse to Rescind "Unreasonable" Rates; Snub Feds (250 comments)

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  •  This is about states' authority to regulate (2+ / 0-)
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    Pluto, ultraviolet uk

    insurance companies, not about monopolies. The Bloomberg article states, "Trustmark Life Insurance Co. raised premiums for about 10,000 people covered by health plans in five states...". Not a monopoly.

    One of the contentions during the health care/insurance bill negotiations was that states did not want to cede their authority over insurance companies to the fed. State rights: no surprising contention.

    Some states had already enacted powers to the state insurance commissioner to review and deny rate increases, but a very few had any teeth to the power. So...

    The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) establishes a process for reviewing certain increases in health plan premiums and requires plans to justify such increases.   The law requires states to report on trends in premium increases and recommend whether certain plans should be excluded from health benefit exchanges beginning in 2014, based on unjustified premium increases. Some of the key provisions took effect immediately, beginning with the 2010 plan year. (Title I, Subtitle A, Sec. 1003)  Generally the federal provisions do not preempt state laws and regulations that provide more extensive scrutiny or powers to disapprove proposed rate increases. Details are provided within the three 50-state tables published below.

        $250 million in grant funding is available to states over a five-year period to help with rate review activities. (Effective during the 2010 plan year.)

        Health Secretary Sebelius sent a letter on June 7, 2010, to states, announcing the availability of $51 million in Health Insurance Premium Review Grants through the Affordable Care Act.

        "These funds will help states strengthen their oversight capabilities and will allow states that do not currently review rates to establish a program. In doing so, these grants will help states protect consumers and small employers by holding insurers accountable for unreasonable insurance rate increases that have made coverage unaffordable for many American families."

    In other words, the Health Secretary did not ever have the authority to deny premium increases (as inferred by the Bloomberg article and this diary). Instead, the HS was required to assist states in creating a transparent process and any action is required by the state.

    States have authority over health insurance regulations; the fed does not.

    Some informative links hereand here.

    The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little. -FDR

    by SoCalSal on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 09:36:39 AM PST

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    •  Good points. (0+ / 0-)

      It makes sense to select a non-corrupt state to live in. There are several in the northeast, I believe.

      Most people, when knocked over by the truth, have a tendency to pick themselves up, brush themselves off...and then hurry away like nothing had ever happened.

      by Pluto on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 10:58:44 AM PST

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