January 17, 2011
Health insurance customers who experienced high premium rate increases this year may be interested in a bill proposal by the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance. HB 105 will give the Insurance Commissioner the authority to review rate increases by insurance companies. Currently, Montana is one of only three states in the country where health insurance premiums are not filed with the state insurance Commissioner. The bill is being carried by Rep. Robyn Driscoll of Billings and will be up for hearing on Tuesday, January 18th, at 8:00am in the House Business and Labor Committee.
HB105 states that insurance companies must file their rates, and justifications for the rates, with the Commissioner 60 days before the rate goes into effect. The Commissionerís office checks to see if the justification for the increase is accurate and all laws are being followed.
Ensuring Montana families and small businesses are not being over charged for premiums can not be accomplished without authority to review the rates, said Lindeen, and it doesnít make sense that consumers in 47 other states have that protection while we do not.