Health Insurance Rates to Receive Increased Scrutiny

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) of the State of Washington announced this week that it received a $1 million federal grant to "improve its review of health insurance rates and to increase transparency for the public."  The grant was made under the Affordable Health Care Act and will be used to "improve the oversight of health insurance rates, take action against unreasonable rates, and ensure that consumers receive value for their premium dollars." 

The OIC plans to use some of the grant funds to gather more detailed rate information from health insurers and establish a new website where the public can see the average rates requested and accepted by year and type of market.  In addition, the OIC intends to seek state legislation to authorize disclosure of how much of the premium change is for claims costs, administrative costs, and profit, all of which could be disclosed on the website. 

Click here for the OIC's press release.