Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today that he approved an average health insurance rate increase of 8.2 percent for the state health insurance providers.
He said the state’s insurers requested authority to impose an average 12.7 percent increase in costs, but this amount was eventually lowered by 4.5 percentage points. Following a 2010 law, the state’s Department of Financial Services has the power to approve rate increases for individuals, small groups and some large groups.
“Rising health insurance costs hit everyone, and especially those who can least afford them,” Cuomo said in a news release. “This is a great day for transparency and the public’s right to know how their health insurance premiums are set.”
The rate requests are accompanied with supporting documentation from the insurers, which the Department of Financial Services then parses through to decide what increases are legitimate. Until recently that information was kept confidential, but now the state makes them public. This decision followed initial objections from insurers, led by United Healthcare, that were eventually dropped.
“The public has a right to know the basis for rising premiums,” Department of Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky said. “In addition, transparency and competition should help to control the increases in health premiums. I applaud the insurers’ decision to make these filings public.”
The public information includes the amount of money insurers spent over the last two years on insurance claims, the amount of administrative profits and expenses and a list of benefit changes.
Health insurance rate view information can be found online at www.dfs.ny.gov/insurance/health/prior_app/prior_app.htm.
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Categories: Schenectady County