Health and Human Services (HHS) today issued proposed rate review regulations. One of the big takeaways in the press conference: federal versus state authority. “Rate review is the job of states,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. Director of the Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight Jay Angoff emphasized that the regulation doesn’t override state law where there are already strong rate review regulations and actuarial processes in place. Rhode Island Health Insurance Commissioner Chris Koller came to the podium and quipped: “Small state, big regulators.” Later he emphasized the word “balance” in describing the federal-versus-state role.
12/22 UPDATE: Here’s a summary of some of the coverage we’ve seen on this in the last 24 hours:
- Politico and the LA Times focus on the part of the regulation that’s of most immediate concern to insurers, the 10% threshold
- The Wall Street Journal offers a critical reaction
- But consumer advocates say the regulations don’t go far enough
Those looking for some light holiday reading will find the proposed regulations here.