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Kaiser Health News: Insurance Commissioners Have “Considerable Power Over Consumers’ Health Plans”

Helena – While health insurers in Montana have already indicated they’re planning for increases, we continue to wait for Insurance Commissioner Matt Rosendale to do anything – including pushing back against the proposed higher rates – to keep health care costs down.
 
And according to a new report in Kaiser Health NewsInsurance Commissioners have “considerable power over consumers’ health plans.” If only Rosendale would do something…
 
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
 
Kaiser Health News:  Vital Health Officials You’ve Never Heard Of: Insurance Commissioners In The Hot Seat
By Julie Appleby
September 6, 2017
 
Key Points:
 

  • State insurance commissioners are “central characters in the unfolding drama that is America’s health coverage”
  • Insurance Commissioners have “considerable power over consumers’ health plans.”
  • “Insurance commissioners’ jobs are to hold them to account.”
  • “critics worry that in some states the position is a revolving door with industry, moving them to do less than they could.”
  • Most commissioners have the authority to reject premiums or modify rates they deem excessive. They also have the power of their bully pulpit. Though California Commissioner Dave Jones, for example, lacks the statutory muscle to override insurers’ rate increases, he often uses his position to publicly call out insurers’ premium hikes.

Read the full article here.
 
And remember, as a legislator Rosendale tried – twice – to kill rate review power for the auditor, even though Montana at the time was one of only three states that did not have a system in place to review insurance rate increases. More recently he said he would support a plan that would jack up costs for Montana families.
 

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