Federal Health and Human Services Director Kathleen Sebelius earlier this week said that states reporting that the ACA will lead to significantly higher premiums next year are “factually incorrect” (Source: “Some states misreporting health insurance costs, HHS’ Sebelius says,” McClatchy Newspapers, Aug. 5, 2013).
Although Sebelius did not mention any specific states, Ohio officials are among those who recently announced sharply higher average rates in the individual market next year. Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who also serves as the director of the Ohio Department of Insurance, last week announced that average premiums in the individual insurance market will rise 41 percent next year (see Health Policy Review story here).
“Erroneous information is being advanced as if these are the final rates available in the marketplace and this is what consumers will be paying,” Sebelius said Monday in a telephone briefing. “That’s just not accurate.”
Final rates for plans in Ohio’s insurance marketplace are scheduled to be approved by federal officials by the end of September.