45 states, D.C. will get $1 million each to guard against premium hikes

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Aug. 30, 2010

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Grants provided through the new health system reform law will go toward improving the oversight of proposed health insurance premium increases, take action against insurers seeking unreasonable rate hikes and ensure that consumers receive value for their premium dollars, according to an Aug. 16 announcement by the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

For too long, insurance companies in many states have increased premiums with little oversight or transparency, HHS officials said. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia will receive $1 million each to make health insurance markets more consumer-friendly and transparent, the department said.

The grants are part of the Obama administration's effort to work with states on implementing provisions of the health system reform law. This year, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called on several insurance companies to justify large proposed premium increases, and she encouraged state and local officials to increase their control over the premium review process.

Note: This item originally appeared at

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