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State Reviewing Health Insurance Rate Increases


State insurance regulators have started closely reviewing health insurance premiums that increase by 10 percent or more.

In the past, the state insurance department didn’t review rate hike proposals of less than 12 percent.

The change complies with a requirement in the federal Affordable Care Act, which Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration strongly opposes.

The Kansas Department of Insurance is led by an elected commissioner, who is not part of the executive branch.

The provision concerning rate increases in the health care law began in September. Since then, Kansas has received four rate filing requests above 10 percent.

After studying the request, the insurance department will draft an opinion about whether the change is reasonable or unreasonable.