Pennsylvania regulators will be investigating rate increases and use of health profiling tools at the state’s nine largest health insurers.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and members of Congress have been criticizing health insurers in California and other states for imposing rate increases over 20% in recent months.
Pennsylvania Gov. Edward Rendell, D, says his state also is seeing “truly exorbitant rate” increases, with some small group increases exceeding 50%.
“This is about companies trying to get the highest possible rates before the federal reforms take effect,” Rendell says in a statement.
Pennsylvania insurance regulators have little authority to control small group rates, and health insurers in the state can raise a group’s rates if a member of the group has a serious health condition, officials say.
The new federal Affordable Care Act, the legislative package that includes the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will prohibit insurer discrimination against sick people, Rendell says.