Consumers Union, the independent, nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports, is pleased to provide the following comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These comments address the proposed Rate Increase Disclosure and Review Reporting Requirements under Section 1003 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (Section 2794 of the Public Health Service Act). Under this section, the Secretary, in conjunction with the States, is required to establish a process for the annual review of unreasonable increases in premiums for health insurance coverage. The Secretary is required to provide a means for “the public disclosure of information on such increases and justifications” (bold added).
Our comments address the proposed preliminary justification templates, plain-language disclosure forms, and reporting requirements that are intended to meet the ACA’s requirement that consumers have a public justification of the increases that are subject to review.