Senators Introduce Bill To Prohibit Health Plans’ ‘Reunderwriting’ Practices
Sens. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) and Peter Fitzgerald (R-Ill.) yesterday introduced a bill (S 3119) that would ban health plans from raising members' premiums after they become ill or file claims, a practice known as "reunderwriting," the Wall Street Journal reports. Insurers have used the practice as a way to reduce costs for healthier plan members by charging sicker members more, according to the Journal. Under the Graham-Fitzgerald legislation and a companion House bill (HR 5682) introduced yesterday by Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.), insurers would be prohibited from increasing or reclassifying subscribers' premiums "based on a health-status-related factor." Graham said, "This bill would ensure that individuals will not be priced out of the market for health insurance at the very time they need it most" (Wall Street Journal, 10/17). The Senate bill has been referred to the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and the House bill will be considered by the Energy and Commerce Committee (Bill summaries, 10/16).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.