Image: debaird under CC 3.0
Similar to those in other states, Utah health insurance companies are raising their premiums. They blame the Obama administration’s healthcare reform law for forcing them to prepare for decreased profits later.
Although state law allows insurers to charge as much as they believe the market will bear, some consumer advocates are worried that filings for rate increases are considered proprietary business information and kept secret. Therefore, few health insurance buyers know what they’re getting into. Most rate changes aren’t known of unless a policyholder speaks out and complains to the media, as they did in this case.
The federal government is looking to states to strengthen their enforcement and prevent “rate creep”, which makes Democrats look bad in the mid-term election season. Humana has raised Utah individual health insurance rates by 29%, while Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield has increased some Medicare Advantage premiums by 48%.