Bill Would Give HHS Power To Block Health Insurance Rate Increases.

The “Floor Action Blog” of The Hill (6/11, Kasperowicz) reported that Sen. Dianne Feinstein is offering legislation that would give HHS or state insurance regulators “the power to deny rate increases, force a modified rate increase proposal, or require rebates to consumers if an increase is deemed excessive.” The HHS secretary would have the “discretion to decide which states can take these ‘corrective actions’ on their own, and for which states these actions will be led by HHS itself.” Additionally, HHS would gain the “authority to make tough state reviews of insurance rate increases a condition of receiving federal grant money under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” The bill would also “broaden the scope of which rate increases would be reviewed,” requiring “HHS to watch for ‘potentially excessive, unjustified, or unfairly discriminatory rates, including premiums.'”


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