In his Nashville appearance this week, President Obama said that state insurance commissioners need to be taking a close look at insurance premium increases proposed by companies. In a news release Thursday, Tennessee Commerce and Insurance Commissioner Julie Mix McPeak said that’s already happening.
From The Tennessean:
In responding to a question from Marian Hurst — a retiree in Mt. Juliet who buys insurance on the federally run exchange —about BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s recent proposed rate increase, Obama said in his Madison speech on Wednesday that it’s important for the state’s insurance commissioner to actively question insurers.
“So I think the key for Tennessee is just making sure that the insurance commissioner does their job in not just passively reviewing the rates, but really asking, ‘OK, what is it that you are looking for here? Why would you need very high premiums?’ ” Obama said. “And my expectation is, is that they’ll come in significantly lower than what’s being requested.”
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has requested on average a rate increase of 36.3 percent for insurance premiums in 2016. Other insurers on the exchange in Tennessee have requested average rate increases ranging from 0.4 to 36.3 percent.
McPeak had recently testified to a congressional subcommittee that the BCBS premium hike might not be big enough. Here’s her department’s news release sent to media: