Three weeks after [Massachussets] Governor Deval Patrick warned that his administration might turn down health insurance premium increases it deemed excessive for individuals and small businesses, insurers have asked the state to approve rate hikes of 8 to 32 percent for April 1.
Patrick last month said the state Division of Insurance would review rate increases exceeding 4.8 percent as part of a broader effort to rein in health care expenses. If the insurers’ latest round of increases is rejected, it would mark the first time Massachusetts has capped health insurance rates.
Insurers say such a move would cause confusion in the marketplace, as they already have negotiated contracts with many individuals and small businesses at the new rates. Capping the rates would also result in immediate financial losses, insurers assert, forcing them to cut payments to health providers and threatening the viability of weaker hospitals.
Why did they negotiate contracts with many individuals and small businesses at the new rates that hadn't been approved yet? Could it be because this would be the first time Massachusetts will have denied a raise in health insurance rates? What does Scott Brown think?