Earlier today, the office of Health and Human Services announced that Kentucky will receive a million dollar grant to crack down on unreasonable health insurance premium hikes.
“The Affordable Care Act puts in place critical market reforms to improve quality and reduce the cost of health care for employers and individuals. Increased competition, lower insurance overhead, and better risk pooling in health insurance Exchanges in 2014 are expected to reduce premiums in the individual market by anywhere from 14-20 percent according to the Congressional Budget Office,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “Between now and then, we will continue to work with States to ensure consumers are receiving value for their premium dollars and to avoid the kind of double digit premium increases seen recently. The State proposals approved today demonstrate the need and desire for new resources and tools to help them protect against unjustifiable premium increases.”
The grant, announced in a 12:30 press release, is set to be used:
- Pursue Additional Legislative Authority: Kentucky will propose legislation to expand the health insurance premium review process to the large group market. In addition, actuarial consultants will evaluate whether revision or extension of laws are needed to enhance the review process.
- Expand the Scope of the Review Process: Currently large groups (more than 50 members) are only required to file their health insurance premium methodologies with the State. Kentucky will increase the number of categories required to file and will expand its review of large group health insurance premium filings to include analysis of rate factors.
- Improve the Review Process: Kentucky can currently collect and report on only a small portion of the health insurance premium filings. The State will increase the amount of data to be provided in filings and will modify the review process to include consideration of plan years, underwriting issues and policy forms.
- Increase Transparency and Accessibility: Currently, information about health insurance premiums is not readily available to the public. Kentucky will develop a publication to explain the review process, including the information submitted by insurers and reviewed by the Department of Insurance. The Department will make information available to the public, in plain language, to give notice of specific health insurance premiums increases and decreases. In addition, the State will conduct surveys and hold open meetings for consumers in order to determine what information would be useful for them to make well-informed health insurance decisions.
- Develop and Upgrade Technology: Kentucky will collect and analyze data to help with the rate review process.
Click here for more information on the grant.