When it comes to health insurance rate oversight, the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI) is like jury that can find a criminal guilty but can’t impose a jail sentence, or a referee that can throw a flag but can’t impose a penalty. TDI can review health insurance rate increases, but it cannot deny a rate increase that it deems unreasonable.
Health insurance is one of the most expensive and most important products businesses and families buy. Premiums increase every year, much faster than families’ paychecks, forcing deductibles up and benefits down. Texas businesses and families deserve to know the premiums they pay for health insurance are fair and justified.
I provided testimony today on House Bill 2782 which equips TDI with an appropriate and common oversight tool—it authorizes the agency to deny a health insurance rate change deemed unjustified or excessive. TDI already has this authority for many of the other types of insurance that consumers buy like home and auto insurance and most other states already have this authority for health insurance. Health insurance consumers in Texas stand to benefit if Texas adopts this common-sense consumer protection.