HHS denies WI request to delay insurance reform

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February 16, 2012

Consumers Union Applauds HHS Decision to Deny Wisconsin Request
To Delay Health Insurance Protection For Consumers

HHS Action Protects $13 Million in Insurance Rebates For Wisconsin

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Health Human Services denied a request by Wisconsin officials to delay a new rule that requires insurers to spend at least 80 percent of health insurance premiums on actual medical coverage. The rule, known as the Medical Loss Ratio, was created as a part of the health reform law and requires insurers to meet the 80 percent standard or provide policyholders with a rebate.
“Today’s decision protects $13 million in estimated rebates that would have been lost for consumers under the Wisconsin’s proposal,” said Laurie Sobel, senior attorney with Consumers Union, the nonprofit advocacy arm of Consumer Reports. “Families struggling to afford health coverage can now count on a minimum level of value in health insurance.”
In announcing today’s decision, HHS officials noted that insurers in the state either already meet the new standard or are making adjustments to comply with the law. Starting this summer, policyholders will begin receiving notices of rebates and carriers will have to publicly report MLR levels.
Contact: Michael McCauley, mmccauley@consumer.org, 415-431-6747, ext 126 or Kara Kelber, kkelber@consumer.org, 202-462-6262