Welcome to the Illinois Health Matters Blog

What health reform means for the people of Illinois

A blog by IllinoisHealthMatters.org

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rate Review YES!

Illinois consumers want more control, stronger protections, and greater transparency in the insurance process. Rate review provides just that. It means that insurance companies will now have to prove the need to charge their customers more, and will not be allowed to do so unless they meet strict criteria.

Insurance companies will have to justify their requests for rate increases to the state Department of Insurance, and they cannot raise your rates unless their request is found to be reasonable and justifiable. The state Department of Insurance will act as a watchdog to ensure that rate increases are fair, needed, and enacted in accordance with the rules. That is strong protection for insurance consumers in Illinois.

The process is fair for both insurance companies and insurance consumers. Rates cannot be raised unless the review says they can, but insurance companies whose increases are denied, or consumers who disagree with a decision to allow rate increases, will have the opportunity to appeal the decision.

With more information about the rationale for rate hikes, consumers will be better prepared to make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase insurance from a specific company. This will stimulate positive competition in the health insurance marketplace, and benefit consumers by lowering costs.

Without rate review, health insurance premiums in Illinois rose 73% from 2000-2007. The rate review process will slow down sudden exorbitant cost increases for insurance, allowing all health insurance consumers including working families and small business owners the ability to obtain quality, affordable insurance for themselves and their families.

Health care reform is the key to economic security and opportunity for American families. Rate review is just one of the ways we will make the system more fair for everyone.

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