In an effort to combat unreasonable heath insurance premium increases, on May 19, 2011, the Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) in conjunction with the states and under the auspices of the Affordable Care Act promulgated a final regulation that could help to bring down the cost for consumers. Under the new regulation, in many cases companies seeking more than a 10% increase in premiums must publicly disclose the proposed increase and any justification they have for it. Federal or state expertswould then review the increases to determine if they are unreasonable.
While the effect this review process will have on lowering costs in the end still remains to be seen, it is a step in the right direction. Too long have health insurance company’s increased the out of pocket expenses a consumer had to pay with little to no justification for these hikes. Overseeing the way in which these companies raise their rates just might help to put the average American on a winning track when it comes to health care costs.