We-Have-to-Pass-It-To-Find-Out-What’s-In-It Fact of the Day

The Obama administration will soon take over the review of health insurance rates in 10 states where it says state officials do not adequately regulate premiums for insurance sold to individuals or small businesses.

Seven states — Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana and Wyoming — do not have effective rate review programs for either individual or small-group health insurance, so federal officials will do the reviews in both markets, the administration said.

In three other states — Iowa, Pennsylvania and Virginia — the federal government will review proposed rate increases for small groups and will allow states to review individual rates.

Robert Pear NYT article here.

Comments (5)

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  1. Tom H. says:

    Every time I see one of these headlines I know that something bad is going to follow.

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    Rather than review rates, why not open up the market to competition from other states. That will hold rate increases down.

  3. Bruce says:

    I wish I could say I am surprised. But I saw this coming.

  4. Virginia says:

    Another erosion of states’ rights and expansion of federal control. I bet they’ll need a special agency to investigate rate setting among states.

  5. John R. Graham says:

    The final rule is at http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/files/rate_increase_final_rule.pdf, all 25 pages of it. Enjoy your reading.

    By the way, the law (PPACA sec. 1003) clearly states that the U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services must act “in conjunction with States.” She has no legal authority to go over the heads of the state government (like she does with respect to exchanges). According to the NY Times story, Iowa and other states resent her regulation of premiums. IMHO, they have a legal case to make her cease and desist.