What is Premium Rate Review?
Premium rate review would require health insurers to submit their rate increases and justifications to the Commissioner's office before the rates take effect.
Across the country, unjustified premium increases have been a driving force in the rapidly rising cost of health care. As a nation, we rely on fair, open competition among health insurers to ensure our health care dollars are used efficiently. However, we lack reliable, public information about how health insurers set their premium rates -- information consumers could use in making their purchasing decisions.
On July 1, 2013, Montana's law on health insurance rate review became effective. As a result, health insurers must now file their proposed rates with the Commissioner's office 60 days before they take effect. The Commissioner's office has contracted with independent actuaries to begin that rate review process.
Why does Montana need Premium Rate Review?
Premium rate review will protect Montana's families and businesses from unreasonable premium hikes. With premium rate review authority, the Commissioner of Insurance will evaluate rate increases and determine if they are unjustified, unfair, or discriminatory before they take effect. Oversight at a state level will give consumers and companies direct access to experts at the Commissioner's office who understand our communities and our markets.
What has CSI done to promote premium rate review in Montana?
The Commissioner is charged with educating Montanans about their new rights and benefits outlined in the Affordable Care Act, including premium rate review. The Commissioner actively promotes premium rate review across the state, and with a grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Commissioner has enlisted several nonprofit organizations to assist with direct community outreach.