New catalog tracks state endeavors to mitigate the rate at which insurance coverage is becoming more expensive
The National Academy of Social Insurance and Catalyst for Payment Reform have joined together to compile a new catalog that outlines the efforts that states are making to address the issue of health insurance costs. In the wake of health care reform, insurance companies have had to offer coverage to a wider range of consumers and provide these consumers with better benefits. In order to offset the financial losses associated with health care reform, insurers have been raising the cost of the coverage they provide.
Insurers are banding together to increase their bargaining power
Mitigating the cost of insurance coverage has become a very important endeavor in some states. Insurers are beginning to form partnerships that effectively increase their bargaining power, giving them the ability to limit competition and increase insurance costs. In some cases, insurance rates are being driven higher by the growing cost of medical care, but lawmakers in several states believes that limiting the cost of insurance coverage will have a beneficial impact on the insurance market overall.
Several states are looking to limit the bargaining power of large insurance groups
The catalog shows that several states are making efforts to limit the bargaining power of large insurance partnerships. These states are introducing new laws and regulations to combat the rising cost of health insurance coverage. Many new regulations are being introduced to further define some of the ambiguous aspects of the Affordable Care Act, while others are focused solely on promoting more transparency in the insurance industry, encouraging price disclosures from insurers.
State agencies often lack the ability to adequately regulate health insurance costs
Regulatory agencies are typically relegated to the task of monitoring the solvency of health insurance companies. These agencies have been playing a more active role in scrutinizing the plans that insurers are offering, however. While many states are making efforts to limit insurance costs, regulatory agencies often lack the legal authority to either confirm or deny rate increase proposals coming from insurers. These agencies are required to review any rates increases that exceed 10%, but if they cannot this task typically falls to the federal government.