Trustmark's Premium Hikes 'Excessive,' Says HHS

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media , January 13, 2012

"By Trustmark's own admission, [it] didn't plan to abide by this 80/20 rule, instead leaving small businesses with unreasonably high premiums," he said.  HHS did not release the actuary's report.

The agency is directing those interested to a special area of, which shows the determination for each health insurance company requesting an increase more than 10%, and which has so far received an audited review, and the amount of increases it imposed or is requesting over the past year. 

For instance, in the case of Trustmark's small business product in Alabama, the company had requested a 13% increase, and combined with other rate actions over the last 12 months, "rates for this product have increased by 27.5% in the last year," according to the site.

In a statement, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that before the provisions in the Affordable Care Act became law, "consumers were in the dark about their health insurance premiums because there was no nationwide transparency or accountability. Now, insurance companies are required to disclose rate increases over 10% and justify these increases."

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