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Kansas regulates health insurance rate increases

Posted On Tue, July 31, 2012

In accordance with the Affordable Care Act, the Kansas Department of Insurance (KDI) has implemented a new system of regulating health insurance rate increases, despite vocal opposition of parts of the act from Governor Sam Brownback.

In previous years, the state of Kansas only made inquiries into insurance rate increases of 12 percent or more. However, in compliance with new regulations, KDI now scrutinizes rate increases of 10 percent or more. Since implementing the new revisions in September, Kansas has received four health rate filings above 10 percent.

KDI is quietly implementing these aspects of the Affordable Care Act in spite of Gov. Brownback's opposition to certain parts of the act. Gov. Brownback has been advocating restraint since the act was implemented in September, stating that the state of Kansas would wait until after the November election to determine if it must comply with certain provisions of the law, including one requiring states to set up a statewide exchange to help consumers compare health insurance quotes from different companies.

However, KDI and associated parties maintain that health insurance rate increase inquiries are essential. "Transparency is crucial for consumers to know whether or not they are getting a fair deal from their insurers," Anna Lambertson, executive director of the Kansas Health Consumer Coalition, told the Topeka Capitol-Journal.

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