Alaska stands up for its health insurance rate review process

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Alaskan spokeswoman notes that the state’s rate review process is adequate

Alaska’s Division of Insurance has not applied for grants from the federal government to review health insurance premium increases. According to a spokeswoman for Governor Sean Parnell, Sharon Leighow, the state does not need federal grants because its rate review process is adequate. This is contrary to an assessment offered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which suggests that insurance coverage could be made more affordable in Alaska if the state had a better rate review process.

Regulators must review rate proposals coming from insurers, but not all regulators have the authority to deny these proposals

Insurance regulators typically review the rate increase and decrease proposals coming from insurers. These proposals are filed every year and apply to policies that will be sold in the following year. In some states, regulators do not have the authority to deny rate increase proposals coming from health insurance companies. In others, the rate review process is considered subpar by federal standards. Alaska officials believe that the state’s rate review process is adequate, and this has been supported by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Alaska Division of Insurance has approved proposals increasing insurance premiums by as much as 40%

Health Insurance book report lawThe state’s Division of Insurance has, thus far, approved rate increase proposals of up to 40% for individual coverage purchased through the Alaska health insurance exchange. State regulators suggest that the high costs of medical care and Alaska’s relatively small market are the reasons behind the rate increases. Insurers are feeling financial pressure by doing business in the state and many companies have been seeking rate increases for some time now.

Insurance premiums are on the rise throughout the US

Health insurance rates are rising in many states. Some rate increases are due to the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, while others are simply due to the rising costs of medical care. Insurance exchanges have been somewhat successful in making coverage more available to a wider demographic of people, but this coverage is not always what can be considered affordable.

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One Thought to “Alaska stands up for its health insurance rate review process”

  1. Andy Josephson

    Can you tell me what states sought federal monies to help with the rate review process and which did not?

    Thanks, Andy Josephson, Democrat, Alaska State House

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