Lawmakers Urge Health Plan Officials To Testify About Coverage Policies
On Tuesday, lawmakers expanded their investigation into health insurance rate increases by requesting that the chief executives of four health insurers testify at a hearing about claims denials for individuals with pre-existing conditions, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Executives from Aetna, Humana, UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint have been asked to appear before the House Committee on Energy and Commerceâs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on March 23, via a letter from committee Chair Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and subcommittee Chair Bart Stupak (D-Mich.).
Waxman and Stupak also requested that the companies provide certain additional material by March 12, including:
- Internal e-mails and documents related to underwriting policies, guidelines and practices for the past five years;
- Data on their average premiums and average increases; and
- Information on maternity care coverage in the individual market.
Other members of Congress and Obama administration officials are calling for the insurers to justify rate increases (Helfand, Los Angeles Times, 3/2).
A WellPoint spokesperson said the company had received the letter and is currently reviewing it, while Aetna officials said they had not received the letter but plan to cooperate, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Colliver, San Francisco Chronicle, 3/3).The subcommittee already has begun its investigation into rate hikes of up to 39% planned by WellPointâs subsidiary Anthem Blue Cross in California (Los Angeles Times, 3/2). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.