As it is the states that have control over the healthcare and health insurance within them, and not the federal government, it is now up to state officials to get the most out of the Obama administration’s reforms to the healthcare system to keep insurance rates under control.
The federal government has been pushing insurers to hold back large increases in their rates and will, starting in September, make it necessary for insurance companies to experience greater analysis before they will be permitted to increase their rates by 10 percent or more. This will provide states with the ability to halt a raise in premiums altogether.
However, it is up to the states to determine how deeply they intend to pursue their investigations on rate increases based on the tools they have available to them, and their overall desire to get involved in the process.
Senior policy adviser Micah Weinberg, from the nonprofit business organization from San Francisco called the Bay Area Council, said that “There’s a real affordability crisis that wasn’t created by the federal health reform, but it’s not clear it was solved by [the law] either”.
Making the decision as to whether or not an insurer is justified in raising its rates and whether or not an increase of a certain size is reasonable is a meticulous process that requires extensive analysis. However, not every state has the funds necessary to hire the consultants and staff that would be needed to accomplish this task. Others have chosen not to allocate that money for political reasons.