President Obama’s health care law – the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act – has saved Americans an estimated $2.1 Billion on health insurance premiums, according to a new report released September 11, 2012 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
The new report is posted on the HHS Healthcare.gov website.
For the first time in history, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act prevents insurance companies from unilaterally raising premium rates at any time with no accountability or transparency, HHS said in a news release it issued on September 11, along with the report.
The health care law includes new rate review rules, under which insurance companies in all states for the first time are prohibited from raising premium rates by 10% or more without first publicly submitting their rate increase requests for review, and justifying their actions.
To date, these rate review rules of the law have helped save an estimated $1 billion for Americans, according to the new report released by HHS.
Information on how states are using the rate review grant funds provided to them under the law is available at: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/resources/reports/rate-review09202011a.pdf (PDF – 268 KB)
Additionally, the health care law’s Medical Loss Ratio rule (sometimes called the 80/20 rule) requires insurance companies to spend at least 80% of each premium dollar on actual health care for covered patients, and forbids them from taking more than 20% of each premium dollar for the insurance company’s own profits, salaries or administrative expenses.
Insurance companies that violate this 80/20 rule must pay rebates to their customers of a portion of the health insurance premiums they paid.
This 80/20 rule has so far required insurance companies to pay rebates worth $1.1 billion to nearly 13 million consumers, HHS said in its news release.
In a September 11 Blog Post: The Health Care Law Is Saving Americans Money, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said, “Added together, these reforms have saved consumers an estimated $2.1 billion in the last year.”
“What today’s report documents is a health insurance market that’s finally starting to work for consumers the way markets are supposed to,” Secretary Sebelius said. “Instead of being able to raise rates without any consequences, insurers are being forced to offer more competitive prices. And consumers are getting more information to help them shop around for the best deal.”
To help you find more information on rebates due from insurance companies to customers in your State and on proposed rate increases for your State, HHS provides an online tool, Your Insurance Company & Costs of Coverage.
See related HelpingYouCare® reports on:
For more news and information about the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act (which some call Obamacare) and about health care reform, see the HelpingYouCare® resource pages on VoicesForCare™, including:
- News on Health Care Reform;
- Editorials: What Needs Improvement, With Your Comments;
- Advocacy: Proposals for Reform, With Your Comments;
- Legislation: Pending & Recently Adopted; and
- International Health Care Compare: Information on Health Care & Long-Term Care Solutions in Other Countries.
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