The law giving the Pennsylvania Insurance Department authority to review and disapprove rate increases in the small group health insurance market took effect March 21.
Gov. Tom Corbett signed Act 134 into law late last year, which expands the department’s ability to review proposed rate increases of 10 percent or more for small group health plans issued in Pennsylvania.
“Pennsylvania now regains control over the regulation of the small group market from the federal government,” Insurance Commissioner Mike Consedine said in a statement. “This means that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will have no role in reviewing these rates, and will adopt our determinations.”
The state previously had authority to review rates for individual products but limited rate review authority in the commercial small group market. Rate requests outside the department’s scope were defaulting to the federal government for review.
In January, HHS affirmed that the department’s authority to review individual health products was already effective, and determined passage of Act 134 gives the additional review authority needed for small group health plans.