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Group Says Review of Health Insurance Hikes is Just What the Doctor Ordered

Photo by Wells Dunbar for KUT News

President Obama’s signature healthcare reforms calls for an automatic review of any increase in health insurance costs ten percent or higher.

But an organization promoting better health care access across Texas says the agency in charge of monitoring and reviewing these hikes isn’t doing its job.

The Texas Department of Insurance is responsible for determining whether or not price increases for insurance premiums are justified. This is supposed to help protect consumers from overpaying for insurance.

According to the Texas Well and Healthy Campaign, the department has not made any determination about any proposed increases to date.

The campaign sent a petition signed by nearly 1,600 Texans to the Department of Insurance, as well as to the Texas House and Senate committees who oversee the agency.

Mimi Garcia, the organizing director of the campaign, said the goal of the petition is to educate Texans on price protections, and push the agency to follow through with rate reviews.

“We want TDI to do what they’re supposed to be doing,” Garcia said. “They’ve received money from the federal government to be able to do this, they been judged that they have the capacity and ability to do this, and its part of the federal law that they should be doing it. And they’re just not acting on it right now.”  

The petition asks the department to complete the rate reviews, improve the transparency of the determination process, and provide information on rate changes online.

The Department of Insurance had no comment on the petition.

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