ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York authorities will be investigating the accuracy of data that health insurance companies and HMOs submit to justify rate increases.

Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky said Wednesday that the new investigation will take the time needed to scrutinize data to make sure it accurately accounts for costs and spending. The unannounced audits will be in addition to the regular review of rate requests that must be done within 60 days before the department approves or rejects increases.

"At a time when spiraling health insurance costs are an incredible burden for working people, it is essential that we ensure that rate requests are based on fair, accurate information that has not been manipulated," Lawsky said.

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