New York Times, The by Karen Ignagni –
January 13, 2013
To the Editor:
Re ‘Health Insurers Raise Some Rates by Double Digits’ (front page, Jan. 6): Health plans share the goal of affordable health care coverage for all Americans. Arbitrarily capping premiums without addressing underlying cost drivers will not move the country closer to that goal.
Data show that premiums are increasing because of the unsustainable rise in medical costs, new benefit mandates that make coverage more expensive, and the effect of younger and healthier people forgoing insurance because of a slow economy.
Moreover, the health care reform law imposed new rate review requirements and a federal cap on health plan administrative costs and profits, further suggesting that rising premiums are being driven by increased spending on medical care.
Focusing on affordability is critical as the reform law is fully carried out in 2014. That is why policy makers should address provisions that will further increase premiums, like the health insurance tax, and take steps to ensure broad participation in the system.
President and Chief Executive
America’s Health Insurance Plans
Washington, Jan. 7, 2013