HHS Issues Proposed Rule on Insurance Premium Hikes

State and federal regulators will review health insurance premium hikes greater than 10 percent under new proposed regulations released by HHS, according to an HHS release.

The proposed regulations would direct states to start the review in 2011, while HHS would conduct reviews in seven states that don't have rate review systems. State-specific thresholds would be used after 2011 to determine which rate increases must be reviewed.

Insurers under scrutiny must post justifications for increases on their websites and on the HHS website, HealthCare.gov. The reform law gives states the power to exclude health plans from new state-run insurance exchanges in 2014 if an insurer shows a pattern of excessive or unjustified premium increases.

In August, HHS gave states $46 million to improve their oversight of premium increases, out of $250 million made available for such activities by the healthcare reform law.

Read the HHS release on insurance premiums.

Read more coverage of insurance premium hikes:

- HHS Secretary Seems to be Bullying Insurers, Congressmen Say

- Anthem Delays Individual Insurance Rate Hike, Pending Study; Other States Also See Large Rate Hikes

- HHS Sec. Sebelius Calls on Anthem Blue Cross of California to Justify Rate Hikes

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