HHS Pledges $46 Million to States for Health Insurance Price Monitoring

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media , August 17, 2010

Earlier this year, Sebelius asked insurance companies to justify large premium increases and encouraged state and local officials to obtain stronger health insurance premium review authorities under state laws. The increased scrutiny at the state and federal level led to the withdrawal or reduction of several proposed health insurance premium increases that in some cases turned out to be based on faulty assumptions and data.

States have proposed to use this funding in a variety of ways.

  • Additional Legislative Authority: 15 states and the District of Columbia want more legislative authority to review or requiring advanced approval of proposed health insurance premium increases;
  • Expand the Scope of Health Insurance Premium Review: 21 states and the District of Columbia will expand the scope of their health insurance review by reviewing and requiring pre-approval of rate increases for additional health insurance products.
  • Improve the Health Insurance Premium Review Process: All 46 states receiving grants will require insurance companies to provide more extensive information through a standardized process to better evaluate proposed premium increases and increase transparency.
  • Make More Information Publicly Available: 42 states and the District of Columbia will increase the transparency of the health insurance premium review process and provide easy-to-understand, consumer friendly information to the public about changes to their premiums; and
  • Develop and Upgrade Technology: All 46 states will streamline data sharing and put information in the hands of consumers more quickly.
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