WASHINGTON BUREAU — Obama administration officials are asking 5 large insurers to publicly disclose their reasons for imposing large rate increases on some customers.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has sent the insurers letters asking them “publicly justify” the price increases.
The letter went to the chief executive officers of UnitedHealth Group Inc., Minnetonka, Minn. (NYSE:UNH); WellPoint Inc., Indianapolis (NYSE:WLP); Aetna Inc., Hartford (NYSE:AET); Health Care Service Corp., Chicago; and CIGNA HealthCare, a unit of CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia (NYSE:CI).
Sebelius met in the White House with the CEOs Thursday.
“Last Thursday, I asked CEOs to post online the actuarial justification for premium hikes so consumers can see why their premiums are skyrocketing,” Sebelius writes in the letter.
Now, “it’s time for these insurance company CEOs to do their part to make the system more transparent for the American people,” Sebelius writes. “If insurance companies are going to raise rates, the least they can do is tell us why.”