Health insurance companies have proposed fewer double-digit rate increases since the government's rate review program took effect in 2011, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, insurance companies must justify rate increases of 10 percent or more.
In the last quarter of 2011, states reported premium increases dropped by 4.5 percent. In some states, such as Nevada, premiums actually declined.
Most rates are reviewed by states, and 37 states have the authority to reject unreasonable premium increases, up from 30 states before passage of the health care reform law.
Among the report's findings:
- Texas, Kentucky, Nevada and Indiana are reporting fewer requests for rate increases of more than 10 percent.
- California, New York, Oregon and others have lowered rate increases for their residents.
- More than 180 justifications by insurance companies for rate increases have been publicly posted and are open for consumer comment on the HealthCare.gov website.