LTE: Rate Review

Easy Next Steps to Take:
1. Copy one item from each of the sections below, then paste into the box at the bottom of the page
2. Use the links in the right column to find your local newspaper’s online Letter to the Editor contact
3. Paste your completed message into the paper’s letter-to-the-editor form or contact email

Our position: Illinois consumers want more control, stronger protections, and greater transparency in the insurance process. Rate review provides just that. It requires insurance companies to justify their requests for rate increases to the state Department of Insurance, and they cannot raise your rates unless their request is found to be reasonable and justifiable. They now need to prove their need to charge customers higher rates, and will not be allowed to do so unless they meet strict criteria.

(Note: You can use this text as either the opening or the conclusion of your letter.)

Part 1 – The Problem

Between 2000 and 2007, health insurance premiums in Illinois rose 73%, and there was no accountability or transparency as to why. The rate hikes did not correlate to an increase in coverage or other policy improvements.

Illinois’ working families and small businesses have been forced to deal with sudden unexpected exorbitant insurance rate hikes, throwing their budgets into disarray. Without a way to plan for these cost increases, many could no longer afford insurance at all and had to give it up altogether, leaving themselves, their families, and their employees unprotected.

Current Illinois law does not restrict health insurance premium increases, and does not allow the Department of Insurance any rate review or approval authority. This allows the insurance companies to raise their rates by any amount, for any reason. They are accountable to no one – not the state, and not their customers.

Jump to bottom»

Part 2 – The Solution

Rate review provides strong protection for insurance consumers in Illinois. The state Department of Insurance will act as a watchdog to ensure that rate increases are fair, needed, and enacted in accordance with the rules.

The rate review process will slow down sudden exorbitant cost increases, allowing working families and small business owners the ability to obtain quality, affordable insurance for themselves and their employees. Without rate review, premiums in Illinois rose 73% from 2000-2007.

The burden of proof will be on the insurance company to justify the rate increase. HB1501 will increase transparency, accountability, and consumer protection in Illinois.
Jump to bottom»

Part 3 – Your Thoughts (One Line)

Restate your position, use data or numbers that support your position, or briefly summarize any personal experience you have that causes you to take this position on the argument.

My health insurance rates went up 60% in the last year alone, but my plan does not offer me 60% more coverage. I am getting the same coverage but paying more for it. Why is my insurance company allowed to raise my rates by whatever percentage they want, whenever they want?

My employer had to drop our group insurance plan when our rates suddenly went up last year. Rate review means that the insurance companies aren’t going to be able to jack the rates up by surprise on people anymore.
Jump to bottom»

Part 4 – The Conclusion

Current Illinois law does not restrict health insurance premium increases or allow the Department of Insurance any rate review or approval authority. This means the insurance companies can raise their rates by any amount, for any reason. They are accountable to no one – not the state, and not their customers.

Passage of the proposed rate review law (HB1501) would protect people against exorbitant premium increases. It will require all insurers to report to the Department of Insurance their premium rates and information justifying the rates for all individual and group health plans.

My health insurance rates went up 60% in the last year alone, but my plan does not offer me 60% more coverage. Why is my insurance company allowed to raise my rates by whatever percentage they want, whenever they want? Rate review is just one of the ways we will make the system more fair for everyone.
Jump to bottom»

Restate your position: Use data or numbers that support your position, or briefly summarize any personal experience you have that causes you to take this position on the argument. Paste the parts of your letter into the box below.

Reminder: Most papers limit Letters to the Editor to 150 words, so please keep your comments within that limit. The box below will keep track of the number of word you use.
^Back to top


Click

Current Illinois law does not restrict health insurance premium increases or allow the Department of Insurance any rate review or approval authority. This means the insurance companies can raise their rates by any amount, for any reason. They are accountable to no one – not the state, and not their customers.

Passage of the proposed rate review law (HB1501) would protect people against exorbitant premium increases. It will require all insurers to report to the Department of Insurance their premium rates and information justifying the rates for all individual and group health plans.

My health insurance rates went up 60% in the last year alone, but my plan does not offer me 60% more coverage. Why is my insurance company allowed to raise my rates by whatever percentage they want, whenever they want? Rate review is just one of the ways we will make the system more fair for everyone.

Help us track your letters! Send a copy of your letter to Kathleen Duffy at kduffy@cbhconline.org. Please include the name of the newspaper and the date you sent the letter.