Senator calls for Tennessee Insurance Commissioner Julie McPeak to testify before legislative committee
Tennessee Senator Mark Green has submitted a request to the state’s Insurance Commissioner, Julie McPeak, to testify before a legislative committee concerning increasing health insurance premiums. Premiums on coverage provided through the state’s insurance exchange, which is operated by the federal government, have grown in 2016, and this has become a concern for many consumers living in the state. Some lawmakers are eager to determine why premiums have been growing aggressively.
State officials aim to find more information concerning the approval process for rate hikes
According to the request from Senator Green, Commissioner McPeak is being asked to speak to the Senate Commerce and Insurance Committee. McPeak is being tasked to provide a brief explanation as to how approval was granted for high premiums increases. Notably, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, the state’s largest health insurance provider, has been behind the most drastic rate increases. The insurer had sought to raise rates by an average of 36.3%, and this proposal was approved by the state’s insurance regulators.
Health insurance coverage is becoming more expensive in Tennessee
Many of the plans sold through the state’s health insurance exchange have become more expensive this year. Many insurers had intended to raise rates in order to recover from the financial losses they saw in the past. Due to the Affordable Care Act, millions of people were able to acquire health insurance coverage. This lead to higher claims payouts for insurers. Coupled with other financial issues associated with the federal law, some insurers have felt the impact of losses, which has encouraged them to increase premiums on the health insurance premiums they offer.
Insurance premiums continue to rise throughout the United States
Tennessee is not the only state where health insurance premiums are growing. Large insurers throughout the United States have been seeking rate increases for 2016. Regulators have been feeling pressure to mitigate rate hikes, but they must also ensure that insurers are able to function as businesses in their given markets. Finding a balance between higher rates and business interests has proven to be somewhat difficult.