HHS concluded that Trustmark Life Insurance Co. proposed unreasonable health insurance premium increases in Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wyoming that would affect a total of 10,000 residents.
Late News: Trustmark insurance rate increases unreasonable: HHS
The company raised rates by 13% in those states, Gary Cohen, acting director of oversight at HHS’ Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, said during a conference call with reporters. Beginning last September, health insurers are required to justify any premium rate increase of 10% or more before the increase takes effect. And starting Sept. 1, 2012, each state may have its own minimum premium increase that requires a review, based on the state’s premium and cost trends.
Currently, 37 states have a rate-review program in place, and the federal government will conduct reviews for those states that don’t have such a program. Cohen said HHS has provided $250 million in funding to help states with the rate review process. For example, Cohen said, the assistance has allowed states to hire actuaries and develop websites that share information with consumers. Trustmark Life, a subsidiary of Lake Forest, Ill.-based Trustmark Cos., said in a statement that the company “respectfully disagrees” with HHS’ conclusions. “As a smaller carrier, our loss ratios can vary significantly from year to year, and we take that volatility into consideration.”
Send us a letter
Have an opinion about this story? Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor, and we may publish it in print.