Georgia is pleading with U.S. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius for a 30-day extension beyond Wednesday’s deadline to approve the health plans submitted by seven insurance companies wanting to do business in the state, the Savannah Morning News reported.
Georgia Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens said that some rates were 198 percent higher than current plans available in the state.
“Georgia consumers cannot afford these massive rate increases,” Mr. Hudgens wrote Ms. Sebelius. “President Obama promised Americans that Obamacare would lower rates, but here in Georgia insurance companies are demanding massive rate increases up to 198 percent for some individuals.”
Mr. Hudgens said he received reports Monday of outside actuaries who reviewed premiums by the seven insurance companies, concluding that six sought justifiable premiums, the Morning News reported. The seventh was 11 percent above what was necessary to comply with Obamacare.
Georgia law only empowers Mr. Hudgens to deny premiums that are excessive, and with the report on hand, he has no grounds to find them such unless Miss Sebelius gives it to him, the Morning News said.
Miss Sebelius’ office sent the Morning News a two-line statement at 5:30 Tuesday noting that she is reviewing Hudgens’ request.
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