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Thursday, May 26, 2016
OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Insurance Department does not have statutory authority to approve or deny rate increases filed by insurers on the federal health insurance exchange. Oklahoma, along with Texas, Missouri, Alabama and Wyoming, is a direct enforcement state meaning it has no authority to enforce provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
“We know consumers enrolled in ACA health plans are about to experience another round of rate increases in 2017,” said Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak. “These rates will be evaluated and approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). We are aware of the need to balance consumer needs with insurers’ requirements to sustain their participation in the marketplace. CMS must consider these elements as they review and approve 2017 rates.”
State Question 756, passed in 2010, amended the Oklahoma Constitution to prohibit laws which compel individuals, employers and providers to participate in health care systems. Because of that legislative change, insurers offering products on the exchange were required to submit rate filing justifications to CMS by May 11. The initial proposed rate change information is now available at https://ratereview.healthcare.gov.
According to the American Academy of Actuaries, the major drivers of 2017 premium changes are growing health care costs, the elimination of reinsurance program funds, changes in risk pool composition and changes in provider networks.
CMS officials will review the proposed rate changes and determine if they are justified. The rates will be finalized by August 23.
About the Oklahoma Insurance Department
The Oklahoma Insurance Department, an agency of the State of Oklahoma, is responsible for the education and protection of the insurance-buying public and for oversight of the insurance industry in the state.
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