January 18, 2011 – Monica Lindeen, Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, today requested authority to review health insurance premium rate increases in a bill proposed by her agency and heard in the House Business and Labor Committee.
“Ensuring Montana families and small businesses are not being overcharged for premiums cannot be accomplished without authority to review the rates, said Lindeen, “and it doesn’t make sense that consumers in 47 other states have that protection while we do not.
Montana is one of only three states where the insurance commissioner has no authority to review rates, and without those rates being filed with the Commissioner’s office, along with authority to review those filings, there is no way to determine if the consumer is being overcharged for health insurance.
In Montana, health insurance premiums make up 17% of our income. Health insurance costs are rising five times faster than inflation or wage increases. Commissioner Lindeen is committed to working on solutions to bring down those costs and feels HB 105 serves as a small piece to that complex puzzle.
“HB 105 is a reasonable proposal that will put Montana families and small businesses on an equal playing field with the rest of the country. Lindeen stated, “If the bill passes, transparency is brought to the process and employers will better understand where their premium dollars are going.”
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