Was the health insurance commissioner right in granting rate hikes to the state’s three health insurers?

Posted 7/12/10

R.I. Health Insurance Commissioner Christopher F. Koller ruled last week on the group rate requests made by the state’s three commercial health insurers, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, UnitedHealthcare of New England and Tufts Health Plan.

He granted rate increases for all there companies on both large and small group rates, but he did not grant the full requests of any of the companies, saying that the rates had to go up to cover the increasing cost of health care being provided by hospitals.

He did, however, impose conditions on the insurers that are designed to create incentives for driving the cost of health care – what hospitals are charging – down, the first time he has done this.

In this complex area, was Koller able to successfully straddle the line between affordable health care and solvent health care providers and insurers?

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