U.S. Proposes Rules on Raising Insurance Premiums

Robert Pear
The New York Times

WASHINGTON — In a move to protect consumers, the Obama administration said Tuesday that it would require health insurance companies to disclose and justify any rate increases of 10 percent or more next year.

State or federal officials will review such increases to determine if they are unreasonable, the administration said in proposing a regulation to enforce the requirement.

The proposed rule represents a major expansion of federal authority in an area long regulated by states. [Emphasis CAJ]

Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services, said the reviews would “help rein in the kind of excessive and unreasonable rate increases that have made insurance unaffordable for many families.”

The new health care law, signed in March by President Obama, calls for the annual review of “unreasonable increases in premiums for health insurance coverage.”

The law did not define unreasonable — a gap the administration is now trying to fill.

Under the rule issued Tuesday, insurers seeking increases of 10 percent or more in the individual or small-group market next year must publicly disclose the planned increases and the justifications for them.

The article continues at The New York Times.

H/T The Astute Bloggers

Update: Sebelius Seizes Even More Power

Not satisfied with the colossal amounts of power that she would acquire under Obamacare if it isn’t repealed, Health and Human Services (HHS) secretary Kathleen Sebelius has issued a 136-page “rule” that will now give her (and her subordinates) largely unchecked power to pass judgment on the prices of health insurance throughout the United States. Notwithstanding the fact that 43 states already regulate and approve health insurance premiums, Sebelius claims that we need an additional, more centralized, protection against insurers’ unseemly ‘profit motive.’ But a far greater threat to the future of American republicanism is posed by the impulse that animates Sebelius and the bulk of the Obama administration: the power motive…

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