Empire State lawmakers are considering a bill that could restore the ability of the state insurance commissioner to review and reject health insurance rate increases.
If passed, the bill, A. 8280, also would increase the minimum medical loss ratio to 85%, from 75% for individuals and 80% for small groups.
The bill was proposed by Gov. David Paterson, D, and introduced by Assemblyman Joseph Morelle, D-Rochester, N.Y.
Morelle is chairman of the New York Assembly Insurance Committee and an active member of the National Conference of Insurance Legislators, Troy, N.Y.
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Before 1996, all New York individual and small group health rates were subject to a prior approval process.
Between 1996 and 2000, health insurers needed insurance regulator approval before increasing rates more than 10% in a single year due to factors such as medical care inflation, increases in taxes and fees, administrative costs and reserve requirements, Morelle says.
A. 8280 would reinstate the prior-approval process for individual and small group premium increases
“Since becoming free from regulatory oversight, health plans have routinely implemented double-digit rate increases,” bill supporters say in a statement about the bill.