More sunshine breaks into the Dark Side

Posted October, 27 2011 by arianne

HCFANY has just received word that Aetna, EmblemHealth, HealthNow, Empire HealthChoice, and Excellus Health Plan have all agreed to release their rate increase support documentation public!

This follows the recent decision by UnitedHealthcare – New York’s largest health insurer, agreement to disclose its own information earlier this week.

Kudos to Ben Lawsky and the rest of the fine folks at the Department of Financial Services (DOFS) for stepping up for New York’s working families and small businesses! And, a big pat on the back for Aetna, EmblemHealth, Empire and Excellus for doing the right thing to give consumers a fair say in the rate review process.

It’s unclear if yesterday’s Healthcare for the 99% march against the insurance industry had any role in the decision by the Blues to acquiesce, but it probably didn’t hurt!

Also, now that we’re on the topic, has anyone looked at the DOFS website lately? They have posted their decisions on the proposed health insurance rate increases for the first quarter of 2012.  The verdict? An average decrease of 4.5% across all insurer’s proposed rate hikes, with nearly a 13% decrease for UnitedHealthcare products alone.  For just the individual market, decreases made by the DOFS averaged at 6%, and for the small group market, nearly 7%.  DOFS is reporting that these lower increases will save consumers more than $400 million in 2012!

Not too shabby…

UPDATE! Click here to see HCFANY’s Press Release on the five additional insurers