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Senators Ask Governor to Let Alaskans Know Reasons Behind Health Insurance Increases

ANCHORAGE-Today, eight State Senators sent Governor Sean Parnell a letter asking him to reconsider his administration’s  request to waive new provisions under the Affordable Care Act that require health insurance companies to publicly disclose the reasons for annual rate increases when they reach ten percent a year or higher.

The group of senators, including Senators Hollis French, Bettye Davis, Dennis Egan, Johnny Ellis, Albert Kookesh, Donald Olson, Joe Paskvan, and Bill Wielechowski, became concerned after learning that the state’s Division of Insurance not only argued against letting the public know why insurance companies were raising their premiums, but also proposed that public disclosure only be required when rates rise more than an astonishing 17% a year. 

“If the rate increases are reasonable,” said Senator French, “there is no reason why the insurance companies can’t let Alaskans know why their premiums are increasing.”

The division claimed the 17% cutoff for public disclosure is necessary because requiring companies to report at a lower percentage could “create unreasonable expectations by Alaskans regarding what constitutes an unreasonable rate increase.”

“Alaskans are already concerned about the rising cost of their health insurance,” said Senator French.  “Making companies publicly justify their rate increases is simply good policy.”

The letter also requests that Governor Parnell and his administration ensure that the information is published and the public can easily access it.

To read a copy of the letter, click here.

For more information, please contact Lila Hobbs in Senator French’s office at (907) 269-0234.

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