Proposed Premium Rate Increases for 2016: The Jury Is Still Out

By Sean Miskell and David Cusano

After last spring’s deadline for health insurers to submit their proposed rate requests for 2016, many expressed concern about potential premium hikes. However, amid eye-catching headlines regarding double-digit increases, it is important to remember that rate requests vary considerably by insurance carrier and location. In addition, these proposed requests are just that—proposals. They are subject to scrutiny by the states to ensure that they are reasonable prior to being approved and passed on to consumers.

To ensure that rate increases are fair, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires state insurance departments to have “effective-rate-review” programs whereby they conduct a comprehensive review of proposed rate increases to ensure that such are reasonable and allow the public to engage in the review process.

In their latest blog post for the Commonwealth Fund, Sean Miskell and David Cusano discuss how state departments of insurance  are engaging with insurers to ensure that rates are reasonable and fair to consumers, and how more state-based marketplaces may contribute to this process over time.

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