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Health Insurers Told To Provide More Details On Proposed Rate Increases

Originally Posted: September 23, 2010

New York City - Health insurers must be specific in letters to policyholders about the impact of different factors that they claim are causing increases in premium rate increases, according to a letter sent to the companies by the New York State Insurance Department. Specifically, insurers should state exactly how much they claim federal health care reform and other legislative changes add to costs and how much is from other causes.

"New York's new prior approval law requires insurers to send written notice of proposed rate increases, including the specific change requested, to insureds so they can understand the rate increase and ask questions or provide comments to the insurer or the Insurance Department. But if insureds do not have accurate information, they cannot make informed comments," said Insurance Superintendent James J. Wrynn. "We have no objection to insurers noting the cost of federal health reform, but just listing it can create the inaccurate impression that reform is the major cause of increases."

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