Assurant Health refunds $2.75M for unapproved rate increases

Three of Assurant Health's subsidiary insurance companies must refund certain customers for $2.75 million in premiums that weren't approved by the Indiana Department of Insurance.

After an internal investigation into the three subsidiaries, Time Insurance Co., Union Security Insurance and John Alden Life Insurance Co., Commissioner Stephen Robertson found the insurers had been charging rate increases for some small group employer-based plans since October 2010 without first receiving state approval, the Insurance Journal reported.

The insurers, as a result, are refunding premiums to about 600 individual small businesses and must reduce rates charged to those businesses immediately.

"Small businesses everywhere already struggle to provide health insurance to their employees because of the cost. I am pleased we were able to negotiate a settlement that makes employers whole," Commissioner Robertson said in a statement.

The discrepancy was a result of the insurance department's new authority to review health insurance rates, including whether the insurer's filing is sound and justified. Assurant said it didn't think its rates were subject to the department's review.

To learn more:
- read the Insurance Journal article
- see Commissioner Robertson's statement (.pdf)