Obamacare to Require All Rate Increases Be Reported

Monday, 04 Mar 2013 11:29 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The Obama administration wants health insurance companies to report every price increase, no matter how small, to the federal government so it can measure how insurers are complying with the 2010 healthcare reform law, according to The New York Times.

The government now requires insurers to report rate increases of 10 percent or more. But new rules would require all increases to be reported, the Times reported.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said the new law allows the government to identify patterns that could indicate market disruption.

Consumer advocates are welcoming the new requirements, which they say allow them to scrutinize rate increases. But insurers object, saying the government is creating a reporting system that duplicates what states already require.

The rule also will allow the government to track whether Obamacare drives up insurance costs, as insurers and employers predict. Obamacare guarantees coverage for all, regardless of pre-existing conditions, and prohibits insurers from charging more for women.

Since the system requires insurers to pool the claim costs of all customers when setting rates, federal officials say they need to know the prices of all insurance products so they can ensure companies are following the law.

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