As reported in AAJ News Brief for June 10, 2010
From the desk of John R. Badal, Reading, Berks County Lawyer , auto accident insurance law :
The AP (6/10, Scolforo) reports that on Wednesday, “Pennsylvania regulators said…they have detected a pattern of rate increases by health insurance companies that suggests insurers are trying to pad revenues before federal health reforms are fully implemented.” According to Gov. Ed Rendell, “the Insurance Department was investigating the state’s nine largest health insurers over the use of what he described as questionable health profiling tools.” For example, “Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario said there was evidence that some companies recently have expanded their use of individualized medical questionnaires and drug profiling in the small-group insurance market,” as well as “attempts to ‘identify and drive up premiums for the most vulnerable groups.'”
The Pittsburgh Business Times (6/10, Mamula) reports that “Pennsylvania has some of the weakest protections in the country against rate increases for small businesses, with no cap on increases for medical conditions, according to… Ario.” Meanwhile, on June 7, “US Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius…announced the availability of $51 million in grants for states to create and strengthen the insurance rate review process.”
Reuters (6/10, Krauskopf) reports that Pennsylvania is now applying for an HHS grant before the submission deadline on July 7.