Ga. Seeks Delay For Approving Health Exchanges' Proposed Rates

The state insurance commissioner cited "massive rate increases" in the proposals from seven insurers seeking to do business on these online insurance marketplaces.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Insurance Chief's Claim: Health Care Law Will Inflate Rates
The state must approve or deny dozens of health plans to be sold on a new federally run insurance website, called an exchange, that is critical to the Affordable Care Act’s goal of insuring millions of Americans. The deadline to approve plans is Wednesday, but Hudgens is asking for a 30-day extension. ... Bill Custer, a Georgia State University health care expert who has reviewed the filings, said a 198 percent increase is nowhere near typical. "The majority of Georgians with individual coverage will not see rate increases anywhere near that amount and many will see rate decreases," Custer said. The U.S. Health and Human Services Department is reviewing Georgia’s request, a spokeswoman said Tuesday (Teegardin and Williams, 7/30).

Georgia Health News: State Seeks Delay On Rate Approval For Exchanges
The deadline for state regulators to approve the insurance rates for the exchanges is Wednesday. Hudgens told GHN on Tuesday that Georgia is the only state that has asked for a 30-day extension to continue to analyze the rate increases. "I was always skeptical of Obamacare," said Hudgens, a Republican (Miller, 7/30).

CQ HealthBeat: Georgia Wants Delay In Filing Rates For Federal Exchange
Georgia’s insurance commissioner has asked the secretary of Health and Human Services for more time to file premium rates for the new federal marketplace because insurers have proposed rate hikes of up to 198 percent for some individuals. Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens faxed Secretary Kathleen Sebelius a letter on Monday, saying the health law is responsible for what he called massive rate increase demands from the seven insurers who want to do business in the new health law exchanges (Bunis, 7/30).

In other news related to premium rates -

CT Mirror: A Glimpse At Obamacare Insurance Rates And Assumptions Behind Them
You’ll still have to wait a bit to find out exactly what it will cost to buy a health plan through the state’s new insurance marketplace, known as Access Health CT. But on Tuesday, actuaries consulting for the marketplace’s board gave their take on the proposed premiums, offering a glimpse at the assumptions behind the pricing, the range of potential costs, and the complexity of setting and approving insurance rates for markets subject to major changes brought by the federal health reform law (Becker, 7/31).

Health News Florida: Premiums Rising 5-6% For Most Floridians
Florida's average increase in health-insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act for 2014 will be in the range of just 5 to 6 percent, Office of Insurance Regulation officials said Tuesday. That is not out of line with past years, and the new law will require health policies to cover more than many do now (Gentry, 7/30).

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