Rep. John Dingell has filed a “manager’s amendment” to the main House health bill that could affect health insurers’ ability to increase rates starting in 2010.
Dingell, D-Mich., is one of the lead sponsors of H.R. 3962, the 1,990-page Affordable Health Care for America Act bill.
The manager’s amendment to the AHCAA bill will add another 42 pages.
For health insurers, one amendment section of interest is Section 104, which relates to “Sunshine On Price Gouging By Health Insurance Issuers.”
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The section authorizes the U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services to work with the states to set up a process for reviewing proposed health insruance rate increases starting in 2010.
“Such process shall require health insurance issuers to submit a justification for any premium increase prior to implementation of the increase,” according to the amendment text. “Such issuers shall prominently post such information on their websites. The Secretary shall ensure the public disclosure of information on such increases and justifications for all health insurance issuers.”
If a state insurance commissioner finds that a health insurer has a pattern of imposing “excessive or unjustified premium increases,” the insurer could be shut out of the proposed “health insurance exchange” program, according to the amendment text.
H.R. 3962 calls for using a new health insurance exchange system to help individuals and small groups shop for standardized health insurance plans. The exchange also would help administer a health insurance premium subsidy program.