HHS deems insurance rate hikes 'unreasonable' in 5 states

The Obama administration said Thursday that increases in healthcare premiums in five states are "unreasonable."

The Health and Human Services Department said Trustmark Life Insurance Co. is pursuing unnecessary rate hikes in five states. The new healthcare law allows HHS to review rates and classify them as unreasonable, but the department cannot stop the rates from taking effect.

Trustmark has raised its rates in Alabama, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wyoming by 13 percent, HHS said. In Alabama, the company has raised premiums by a total of 27 percent over the past year.