Health care reform
In September, a new health care reform measure kicked in. It’s intended to discourage double-digit increases in health insurance premium.
From now on, any health insurer seeking a rate increase of 10% or more must submit the request to state or federal reviewers, who will determine whether the increase is reasonable or not.
The rate review program is designed to bring more transparency and accountability to health insurance premiums. Its intent is to lower costs for families and small business owners who struggle to afford coverage.
You can go to HealthCare.gov to view the rate information. The consumer-friendly site provides a summary of the key factors insurers cite in their request for increases of more than 10%. The site also allows anyone to comment on the proposed rate increases.
For employers and employees — The federal reviewers are not empowered to turn down proposed rate increases. However, if they believe the rates proposed by a health plan are not justified, they can keep that plan from participating in the Exchanges. This is intended to result in more reasonable premium levels for employers and employees.