Health Reform Act lowering premiums
A new study by the Commonwealth Fund shows that because of a consumer protection provision authored by U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller authored, 88,966 West Virginians saw insurers lower bills by a total of $13.9 million in 2011.
“This study makes clear that a key consumer protection piece of the health reform law is showing real savings for tens of thousands of West Virginians,” said Rockefeller, who chairs the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation.
“A few months ago, many West Virginians started receiving money back in the form of rebates because they had been over charged under the new rules. Better coverage at a fair price just makes sense, and now we’re seeing that happen,” he said.
Rockefeller’s provision in the Health Care Reform law requires insurance companies to use at least 80% of premium fees for actual medical care and not for extravagant offices, excessive executive salaries and high profits. Insurance companies that spend less than 80% of their premium dollars on health care services are required to give money back to consumers in the form of a rebate.
In late 2012, many West Virginians who were overcharged for their health insurance began receiving rebates totaling about $2.7 million statewide.
In 2011, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield cut premiums for 4,200 West Virginia small businesses, which cover 39,000 West Virginians.