AHIP Statement on Rate Review

For Immediate Release
May 19, 2011

Robert Zirkelbach
(202) 778-8493

Washington, DC – America’s Health Insurance Plans’ (AHIP) President and CEO Karen Ignagni today released the following statement on the rate review rule released by the Department of Health and Human Services:

“Focusing on health insurance premiums while ignoring underlying medical cost drivers will not make health care coverage more affordable for families and employers.  The public policy discussion needs to be enlarged to focus on the soaring cost of medical care that threatens our economic competitiveness, our public safety net, and the affordability of health care coverage.

“Health plans are doing their part to restrain health care cost growth by partnering with providers across the country to change payment models to promote and reward safe, high-quality, cost-effective care.

“Premium review must adequately factor in all of the components that determine premium rates, including geographic variation, the cost of new benefit mandates, and the impact of younger and healthier people dropping coverage.  An arbitrary threshold for review will establish a de facto presumption of unreasonableness in what should be an objective, actuarially-based evaluation.

“We agree that states are best suited to review premiums because they have the experience, infrastructure, and local market knowledge needed to ensure that consumers are protected and health plans are solvent. The federal government is not in a position to make these assessments.”

For more information about the soaring cost of medical care, visit AHIP’s blog here: http://bit.ly/iLjS0v

Providing Health Benefits for Over 200 Million Americans.