The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has deemed as "unreasonable" health insurance rate hikes announced in nine states as high as 24 percent.

In the decisions announced yesterday, HHS determined that, after independent expert review, two insurance companies have proposed unreasonable health insurance premium increases in nine states—Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. The excessive rate hikes would affect more than 42,000 residents across these nine states.

Most rates are reviewed by states and many states have the authority to reject unreasonable premium increases.  Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the number of states with this authority has increased from 30 to 37, with several states extending existing “prior authority” to new markets.

The report released yesterday shows that:

  • States such as Texas, Kentucky, Nevada and Indiana are reporting fewer requests for rate increases of more than 10 percent.
  • States such as California, New York, Oregon, and many others have proactively lowered rate increases for their residents.
  • The rate review program has made insurance companies explain their increases and more than 180 have been posted publicly and are open for consumer comment on