WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released the following statement today after the Governor of New York signed legislation granting the state authority to review and approve health insurance premiums before they take effect, and increasing medical loss ratio percentages, with which insurers in the state must comply.
“I applaud New York on its bold move to hold insurance companies accountable and prevent the kind of unreasonable rate increases that have made health insurance unaffordable for many American families. This is the kind of action that, together with the Affordable Care Act, is shifting power back to consumers.”
In early May, Secretary Sebelius sent a letter to governors and state insurance commissioners urging them to review the authority they have under their state laws to determine whether they have all of the regulatory tools needed to approve health insurance rates before they take effect.
Several provisions in the Affordable Care Act strengthen HHS’ and states’ oversight of insurance premiums and rate hikes, including grants for states to help create or strengthen reporting and review processes. On Monday, HHS announced the availability of $51 million in Health Insurance Premium Review Grants under the Affordable Care Act. These monies will fund the first round of grants available to states through a new $250 million grant program to create and strengthen insurance rate review processes.
Secretary Sebelius also held a webchat today with officials from HHS’ Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight to discuss how the Affordable Care Act protects consumers. Additional resources follow.
May 5, 2010
Sebelius Calls on Governors and State Insurance Commissioners to Examine Premium Increases and Rate Review Authorities
Note: All HHS press releases, fact sheets and other press materials are available at http://www.hhs.gov/news.
HHS Press Office
KEYWORDS: United States North America District of Columbia
INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Health Public Policy/Government Healthcare Reform Public Policy State/Local White House/Federal Government Professional Services Insurance General Health Managed Care