A tool in the new health care reform allows the federal government, precisely the Department of Health & Human Services HHS to announce unreasonable rate increases by insurance carriers, this will be one way to secure that affordable health insurance in Brentwood will be still available in the future.

On Monday the HHS announced that in Pennsylvania Everence Insurance “is charging small business a unreasonably high premium increases according to the first federal rate review under the Affordable Care Act”.  Accordingly to HHS Secretary  Kathleen Sebellius ” by shinning a light on unjustified premium increases , we will hold health insurers accountable like never before, and keep money in pockets of Americans”.

Next to the State review on insurance rate increases , from now on HHS will review any rate increase over 10 percent in any state.

Although HHS and state insurance regulators did not gain in the health care reform any new authority to prohibit rate hikes, but the law allows government officials to require insurers seeking health insurance premium increases to publicly justify them.

As we have experience here in California questioning health insurance premium increases publicly can be very productive. Last year  Anthem Blue Cross  and Blue Shield received very bad press when they tried to increase their health insurance premium. After Obama and the insurance commissioner questioning the rate increase in public , both insurance carriers froze their rate increase.

Californians, who suffered very much in the recent recession, struggle to pay for their health insurance. We cannot afford higher rates, and any oversight to try to keep health insurance premium in control is welcome news. Remember shop the health insurance market for the new 2012 rates. Only by reviewing your rates you can be sure that you have the most affordable health insurance in Brentwood.