Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Commissioner Announces Decision on Rate Increase

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Susan Voss today announced her decision that the Wellmark rate increase request would be granted.  Actuarial reports received from the Insurance Division’s actuary and an independent actuary who reviewed the data submitted by the insurer both found that the rate request was not discriminatory and was supported by the data.

“It’s never easy to decide to raise rates,” Voss said. “It will impact all the people with this type of policy from this company, and some more painfully than others. The facts support the requested increase, in spite of the emotional resistance to do so. Overall health care costs of the people covered under these policies were the driving factor. Until we reduce underlying health care costs, rates will continue to increase at levels we don’t want to see and that may be unsustainable.”

The decision letter is available as a link from this release, accessible here.

The rate increase, impacting persons who received the notice of increase late last year, and not impacting employer group plans or Medicare supplement policies issued by Wellmark, takes effect April 1, 2013.