Senator Jon Tester is backing legislation to empower states like Montana to block unreasonable increases in health insurance rates.
Tester's bill will allow state insurance commissioners to prevent excessive, unjustified, or unfairly discriminatory insurance rates. Officials would be able to deny proposed rate increases, modify rates, or require rebates to customers.
Many state insurance commissioners -- including Montana's -- cannot even review proposed rate increases.
"Every Montanan deserves access to quality, reasonably priced health insurance," Tester said. "This bill will hold insurance companies accountable and keep health insurance affordable for thousands of Montanans."
Tester's bill also empowers states to impose additional rate requirements on health insurance companies and lets state officials review all rate increases, not just premium increases.
The Affordable Care Act required health insurance companies to justify proposed premium increases found to be unreasonable, but did not provide state officials with the power to deny proposed increases.