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Q: I work in a small business. We just learned that our premium is going up 33% so we will need to go with a different, less expensive plan with less generous benefits. Will the Department of Health and Human Services ever be looking to scrutinize these types of rate hikes to see if these rate hikes are justified?

A: Under reform, insurers will have to submit transparent information to regulators on how they calculate their premium rates, justifying any rates that seem unreasonable. Health reform also provides new funding for states to implement or enhance oversight of health insurers’ proposed rate increases. And, plans that impose unreasonable rate hikes in the next few years may be prohibited from participating in the new health insurance exchanges once they’re up and running in 2014.

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