President Barack Obama last week touted an HHS report that found 2014 premiums for individual-market health plans in state-run insurance exchanges will be lower than those for comparable, currently available plans. But that HHS report didn't address rates in the federally run exchanges in 34 states. Although those states with “federally facilitated” exchanges have until July 31 to submit rates from insurers to HHS for approval, indications are that FFEs also will see lower rates.
The issue of rates in the federally run exchanges was raised Monday when congressional Republicans sent a letter to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking for information on the rates in the exchanges that will be run by the feds.
But that information will not be available until early September, given that HHS will spend August approving the rates submitted by FFE states. Caroline Pearson, vice president of the health reform practice at Washington, D.C.-based consultancy Avalere Health, notes that the statutory deadline for HHS to notify insurers that their rates have been approved is Sept. 4.