HHS rejects Trustmark's proposed 13% rate increase

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), as allowed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), has deemed health insurance premium increases in five states “unreasonable.”

According to a Jan. 12 statement, Lake Forest, Ill.-based Trustmark Life Insurance sought to increase rates by 13 percent in Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wyoming, but the increase was rejected by the HHS because the insurer would be spending a low percentage of premium dollars on medical care and because Trustmark’s justifications were based on unreasonable assumptions.

The PPACA assigned “rate review” authority to the HHS, allowing the agency to reject premium increases over 10 percent or to request information justifying the request.

Since the HHS’s “rate review” authority became effective, the agency has also struck down premium increases in New Mexico, Connecticut, Oregon, New York, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.