A new level of insurance regulators in New York State has begun to audit increases in health insurance rates.
This comes as part of a state plan to make health insurance more accessible, transparent and to strengthen reviews of premiums for the public. The process will include on-site audits of state health plans, data about claims, insurer administrative costs, premiums and claims reserves.
Some, however, say that this is a mirror image of the work the The New York State Department of Financial Services already does in the same sphere.
The new exercise aims to investigate the accuracy of the data used by insurers and Health Management Organizations (HMOs) for rate increase requests. It will also help control rising health insurance costs. A private accounting firm will examine rate increase requests that have already been filed. Insurers will be audited randomly - they will not be informed in advance about it.