HHS Protest $323M In Consumer Rebates

Insurance News Net reports:

“Today the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced decisions on the last two requests from states to modify the health insurance company minimum medical loss ratios in the individual market required by the Affordable Care Act. HHS also released the forms that health insurance companies will be required to send to customers indicating whether their health plan spent at least 80 cents of every premium dollar on actual health care rather than overhead and profits. Companies that fail to meet that 80/20 standard will declare on the forms the amount of the rebate.

Health Care for America Now (HCAN), the nation’s leading grassroots health care advocacy organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Ethan Rome:

“The 80/20 standard is one of the most effective consumer protections in the health care law and is already reducing premiums for individuals and small businesses. Step by step, this law is taking insurance companies out of the driver’s seat and giving consumers control over their health care.

“Some states have gone out of their way to protect the greediest insurers, the ones that keep way too much premium money for profits and administration, by petitioning HHS to exempt them from the rules. HHS worked on behalf of consumers to deny or modify state requests that would have robbed consumers of $323 million in 2011 alone. Health insurers are expected to refund up to $2 billion this year as a result of the law. This is a big deal for consumers in a tough economy and another milestone in the implementation of the health care law.””