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Insurers must give Iowa notice of rate hikes

Posted On Wed, April 28, 2010

Companies writing insurance for Iowans must now give the state 30 days notice if they plan on increasing rates.

This decision comes in response to Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield announcing they would increase insurance rates for 80,000 customers by 18 percent. The Des Moines Register reports that the rate increase will affect residents who purchase health insurance independently and not through an employer. It also said some consumers' insurance premiums could rise 50 percent or more.

There are mixed reviews from Iowans concerning Wellmark's insurance hikes. Iowa state Senator Joe Bolkcom told the Register that "clearly health care costs are rising, and until we get a handle on the costs, they're to some degree going to be reflected in these insurance rates. That said, the rates include some fairly significant overhead costs for administration and for profit."

The new law will require that insurance regulators hold public hearings when insurers issue annual reports and want to increase rates. According to Insurance Journal, Iowa Governor Chet Culver believes the new law will make the setting of insurance rates more transparent and allow residents to have more warning before increases take place.ADNFCR-2297-ID-19749067-ADNFCR

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