Governor Patrick today announced a series of plans supporting small business and job growth, and one of the areas of focus is on reducing the burden of health insurance costs on small businesses.
Business owners and support organizations are facing health insurance percentage increases in the double digits – as high as 40 percent in some cases. These increases are difficult to handle for the 800,000 Massachusetts residents who are covered under small-group insurance plans and business who use them.
One of the important reforms announced by the Governor today is regulatory reform that gives the Commissioner of Insurance immediate ability to review rate filings from health insurance carriers in advance of taking effect. Until now, carriers were able to file rate changes on the day the rate took effect, creating a potentially difficult denial process if rates were already in effect and then rejected by the Commissioner.
Now, 30 days before taking effect, rate plans will need to be filed with the Division of Insurance. This will give the Commissioner time to consider whether or not the rates are reasonable in relation to the benefits provided.
The Governor announced other small-group health insurance initiatives today, including the creation of more affordable options through “selective network” products, reviewing administrative charges in small-group plans, creating open enrollment periods for individuals, and setting a two-year moratorium on new mandated benefits. The Governor also announced his plans to file legislation that will create oversight of provider rates as well.
Small businesses are the engine that drives our economy, and small businesses will play a leading role in our ongoing economic recovery. Creating the best environment for growth includes putting a leash on increasing small-group health care costs, and these actions recognize the shared responsibility between insurers, providers, business and consumers to end the trend of soaring costs.
May is Military Appreciation Month posted on May 26
May is Military Appreciation Month and the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation, together with its regulatory agencies, acknowledges and remembers all the men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. The Office also extends sincere and …Continue Reading May is Military Appreciation Month
Online Smarts: Dangers of Public Wi-Fi posted on May 26
Free, public Wi-Fi is available almost everywhere today. From the usual spots, such as coffee bars and airports, to the less common, such as steakhouses and amusement parks, public Wi-Fi is a convenience upon which most consumers rely. The problem with public Wi-Fi, however, …Continue Reading Online Smarts: Dangers of Public Wi-Fi
Online Smarts: Crowdfunding Scams posted on May 20
Crowdfunding websites have become major platforms for raising money for various causes, from the production of a local band’s first album to the payment of a cancer patient’s medical expenses. While websites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe have been instrumental in funding entrepreneurial products and …Continue Reading Online Smarts: Crowdfunding Scams