Secretary Sebelius Statement on New York’s Landmark Rate Review Law

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.

Additional resources:

June 9, 2010
HHS Webchat on Consumer Protections in the Affordable Care Act

June 7, 2010
Secretary Sebelius Announces $51 Million in Affordable Care Act Grants to Innovate, Improve, and Enhance Health Insurance Premium Rate Review

May 5, 2010
Sebelius Calls on Governors and State Insurance Commissioners to Examine Premium Increases and Rate Review Authorities
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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