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July 2011 Archives

federal government to review insurance rate hikes in Pa.

Something I did not know is that many states do not have legislative overview of insurance rate hikes. Today's New York Times reported that Pennsylvania is among those states currently earmarked for federal oversight. State insurance commissioners have complained that they lack regulatory oversight. This means that insurance companies in these states can raise rates without recourse or scrutiny. Here in Pennsylvania rate increases for small groups is not overseen which has resulted in insurance companies raising their rates just to improve their bottom-line. The Times reported that Melissa L. Fox a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Insurance Commission said, "We do not have rate review authority in the small-group market, with few exceptions" Apparently, in Oregon Blue Cross Blue Shield was prevented from imposing a 22% rate increase when, after investigation, it was determined that they were overcharging and therefore only allowed a 12.8% increase. Say what you will about too much government, but without this type of oversight we are at the mercy of the health insurance industry. This type of oversight is necessary not just for the consumer like you and I but also for the health care industry. Dennis F Feeley

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