Sabrina Corlette of Georgetown University and Janet Lundy of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Menlo Park, Calif., discuss state health rate review disclosure practices in a report on variations in state review methods.
“Most of the states we interviewed have made little or no effort to make rate filings transparent or facilitate consumer access to information about rate increases,” the researchers say. “Some states, like Idaho and Alaska, explicitly label the information in a rate filing ‘proprietary’ and reveal none of the justifying data to the public. More commonly, states allow for public access to rate filings, but only after they have been approved.”
When consumers can see rate filing documents, they usually have to visit the department offices to see the documents, the researchers say.
“We found that much of the actual rate review process – during which regulators might question assumptions, state objections, and ask for reductions in rates – is conducted as an informal dialogue between [insurance] Department staff and insurance carriers to which policyholders have no access,” the researchers say.
Wisconsin does let consumers see rating filing information, and it wants to use federal grant dollars to improve the rate filing data access part of its website, the researchers say.