Today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced $100 million in new grants to help states (including California!) with rate review. Last year, California passed SB1163 (Leno) and began implementing the review of insurance rate filings in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. The ACA empowers states to scrutinize insurance rate increases to prevent unjustified rate increases that go far and beyond any increases in costs on the insurer end.
This has saved consumers in California from drastic rate increases that could have forced millions of consumers to make difficult decisions related to continuing coverage.
HHS also highlighted some of California’s (and other states’) experiences in their report on the efficacy of rate review, which you can read here.
The report strongly endorses that states can and should take the next step, to require prior approval of rates, as is proposed by Senator Feinstein in the U.S. Senate, and is proposed in the state legislature in AB52 by Assemblyman Feuer. The ACA shows that additional scrutiny matters, and is helping provide some resources for that effort… but there’s more that California can do.
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