Insurance lobby huddles with White House on ‘reasonable rates’ requirement


The insurance industry has lobbied forcefully against the requirement, calling it an overreach.

In a letter sent to CMS in December, senior state-level AHIP officials said there is already "adequate” data available to the agency that could be used to track health insurance rate increases. “There has been insufficient explanation of the need for a new data collection for other purposes,” they wrote.

In 2011, the Obama administration put in place a rate review process that requires insurers to justify price hikes of more than 10 percent. The new rule would require insurers to update the agency any time there is a pricing change.

The changes are intended to help officials “identify patterns that could indicate market disruption” and “oversee the new, market-wide reforms,” according to CMS.

AHIP argues that collecting the information at every instance of rate increases will not only cause too much of a burden on the healthcare industry, but also run afoul of both congressional intent and of the laws governing time and paperwork burdens involved in imposing regulations.

CMS acknowledges health insurance providers will “incur administrative costs to prepare and submit the data,” but argues, “the benefits of this regulatory action would justify the costs.”