Obamacare Oversight: The Looming Premium Rate Shock
On March 14, 2013, members of the Energy and Commerce Committee sent letters to 17 of the nation's largest health insurance companies requesting analyses of the effect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's (PPACA's) policies, mandates, taxes, and fees on health insurance premiums.
Cick here to read the report.
Because of the proprietary and confidential nature of the material submitted by these companies, committee staff has redacted identifying information from this report and the accompanying supporting documentation. Publicly identifying the authors of these materials could disrupt the process by which insurers are required to file their proposed premium rates, especially considering that some of the information could change. The committee requested the insurance companies produce their most recent existing analyses rather than create new materials when responding to the committee’s requests. The committee did so in order to capture the most realistic portrait of the PPACA’s effect on premiums. Because the committee requested that insurers submit original analyses, the statistical information is not of a uniform nature.
 Several insurers made the point that they are doing their best to guess what the market will look like on January 1, 2014. This is difficult considering (as one insurer remarked) that they have to complete these analyses while the administration has yet to issue many “relevant final ACA regulations.”
 Some insurers calculated premium increases by age and sex, others calculated an average for each state they serve, while others tried to estimate the premium increases for a representative plan in the market.
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"Pursuant to Rules X and XI of the United States House of Representatives, the Committee is examining the effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) on the health insurance premiums paid by American families.
"Last week, the Committee released a report that examined more than 30 studies and analyses of trends in the price of health care premiums. The report shows that since 2008, the average family premium has grown by over $3,000; it also reveals that in the future most people under the age of 50 will see their rates increase significantly.
"These premium increases have occurred before the law's most costly requirements go into effect in 2014. As one of America's largest providers of health insurance, you are uniquely situated to provide information on the premiums American families can expect to pay beginning next year. ... "
Click here to see the list of insurance companies who received the letter from the committee and to read the full text of the letter.