Some insurers may be ignoring state regulations regarding transparency
Many health insurance companies in Texas may not be complying with the state’s new regulations regarding transparency. The regulations require insurers to submit regular reports to the Texas Department of Insurance, detailing information concerning their health care networks. When insurers do not file reports, or if these reports are inadequate, state regulators are meant to take action, but public records have shown that this rarely happens. As such, many insurers may be circumventing regulations and avoiding regulators entirely.
Small number of insurers have submitted reports regarding the insurance plans they are selling
According to records from the Texas Department of Insurance, only 25 of the 140 insurance plans being offered in the state were submitted for regulatory approval before April 1 this year. Insurers that submit health care plans after that time were meant to face regulatory sanctions, but no such sanctions have been issued as of yet. Over the past seven months, only three additional insurance plans have been submitted to the Department of Insurance.
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Lack of reports makes it difficult for regulators to ensure that policies meet state’s standards
Without reports coming from insurance companies, state regulators have no way to tell whether or not the plans these companies are selling have the mandatory number of health care providers within their networks. Consumers may be spending more money than they should on plans that have limited health care network coverage. This could create some financial strain on consumers and some people may find that they are not able to visit their favored medical care providers because of limited network coverage.
Insurers may need time to understand new regulations and adapt accordingly
The regulations imposed on health insurance companies are still quite new. As such, regulators have been somewhat lenient when it comes to enforcement. The insurance industry is typically quick at adapting to new regulations, but small companies have a harder time doing so. The Texas Department of Insurance is working to ensure that companies understand the new regulations before any decisive action is taken against insurers.