With the announcement by Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, that Trustmark Life Insurance Company’s recent increases in premiums for their health insurance were “excessive” comes the certain result: A few may be helped, but many will be harmed.
She declared, “It’s time for Trustmark to immediately rescind these rate [increases], issue refunds to consumers or publicly explain their refusal to do so.” Under ObamaCare’s usurpations of prior state law, any premium increases of more than 10 percent are to be reviewed and if determined to be unreasonable, made subject to public exposure and pressure to abide by the agency’s dictates as to what is reasonable.
A spokeswoman for Trustmark, Cindy Gallaher, responded to Sebelius: “We respectfully disagree with the assumptions and conclusions drawn today by the Department of Health and Human Services. Our premiums are driven by the rising cost and increased utilization of medical services.”
Those premium increases affect about 10,000 policyholders in five states, including Alabama where Trustmark has raised its premiums by 27 percent over the last year, Arizona with raises of 18 percent, and Pennsylvania with increases of 15 percent.
At present, Sebelius can only complain publicly about Trustmark’s premium increases, as ObamaCare does not yet contain the power to block those increases. The Obama administration sought such powers but failed to have them included in the law.