RN-T.com – ANALYSIS Georgia becomes center of Obamacare political storm

5
Aug

RN-T.com – ANALYSIS Georgia becomes center of Obamacare political storm

ATLANTA — For three days last week, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens put Georgia into the center of the political storm over Obamacare, and as is usually the case with politics, each side felt enriched by the experience.

In what may be the clearest sign that Hudgens intends to run for re-election next year, he sought an excuse to avoid approving health premiums he considers high and likely unpopular with voters. Seven insurers submitted premiums for the plans to be sold in Georgia’s health exchange for individuals and small groups, and Hudgens didn’t want to OK them.

Under Georgia’s “file and use” law, health insurers submit the premiums they intend to charge, and they are free to use them unless the insurance commissioner deems them excessive. He has greater freedom to reject other types of premiums, but not medical.

First, Hudgens sought cover from outside actuaries. They reviewed the proposals and concluded they were justifiable to meet the mandates in the federal law, except that one company was 11 percent higher than necessary.

He got the actuaries’ reports two days before Wednesday’s deadline for him to approve the premiums so they can go on sale Oct. 1 in the exchange the federal government will operate here.

“When the company says this is what they need and outside actuaries say ‘These are reasonable; they’re justified; they’re needed,’ who am I to say, ‘Nah, you can’t do that?’” he said.

via RN-T.com – ANALYSIS Georgia becomes center of Obamacare political storm.

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