Have you seen a recent increase in your medical insurance rate? Medical insurance rate increases are under close scrutiny as health reform blossoms. The medical insurance rates are being examined closely by the department of health and human services. The DHHS has revealed the fact that health insurance companies have sought drastic premium rate increases in the past year. Legislation has been introduced in 2010 that would prevent health insurance providers from assessing unfair premium rate increases.
Under the Legislation, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services would be able to review, deny or approve rate increases that are deemed unreasonable. The Health Insurance Rate Authority Act was introduced in part to protect the consumer from premium increases that are not justified by the insurer. Unfortunately, this does not mean that there will not be premium increases. Alternatively, the act would insure that those increases that are assessed would need justification.
Health care reform has been a hot topic since the days prior to the presidential election. One of President Obama's top priorities has been health care reform and much has blossomed as a result. The Health Insurance Rate Authority Act is likely one of many acts to come in order to protect the consumer and regulate insurance premium hikes. Authorities state that there is likely a need for some premium increases due to health care reform mandates. Reform mandates such as policies covering maternity care, substance abuse, mental health and mandates against exclusions due to pre-existing conditions will cause insurers to take risk that they have not traditionally had to take. The additional risk will result in insurers contributing more dollars to the health pool than they have in the past. Ultimately, the affect on the bottom line for insurers result in premium increases for the consumer.
It is important to remember that there are several factors that contribute to an individual's premium and that certain features may be tweaked in order to realize a lower premium. Though we have seen an overall hike in premiums, an individual still has some control over the monthly premium that he or she pays. For instance, deductibles, co-pays, Coinsurance percentages, amount of coinsurance out of pocket and lifetime maximum coverage by the insurer all combine to determine the amount of monthly medical insurance rates. The insurance seeker could adjust any one of these factors and see a change in their monthly premium. However, in the near future the consumer may still see increased overall premiums for certain policies. Illinois, California and Colorado have already seen drastic premium increases by certain insurers. The Health Insurance Rate Authority Act would give the secretary of health and Human Services the power to deny or adjust rate increases that are found to be unjustifiable.
Affordable health insurance has been made a priority by the current administration. Although the health reform legislation is now a reality, many of the elements of the legislation will not be realized for years to come. The Health Insurance Rate Authority Act is just one step towards protecting the consumer and maintaining the "affordable" health insurance initiative. For more information regarding affordable health insurance and medical insurance rates, see the Texas Low Cost Health Insurance website.