Some states fail to review unreasonable insurance rates, Kaiser finds

Vigilance of unreasonable premium hikes might be lax in some states despite their robust authority to review and approve rates, according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation study.

The study found many states might only disapprove rates in select situations, such as for certain insurers or products. Further, many states not have enough staff to review all filed rates, and some automatically approve rates if they are not reviewed within a month or two.

Most states interviewed by the foundation also made little effort to make rate filings transparent. Some described the rates as trade secrets and therefore not available to the public.

The healthcare reform law gives the federal government new power to examine “unreasonable increases” in premiums charged for some individual and small group health plans.